Today’s digital age has invented and reinvented ways for small businesses to promote their business and expand their reach to new customers. Businesses websites and social media are two ways that small businesses have found success, but many are not getting the value they should out of them.
According to a survey conducted by Visual Objects, small businesses tend to undervalue search engine optimization (SEO) and the importance of a strong website. At the same time, small businesses are increasing their budgets and relying more on social media but are ultimately disappointed when their engagement doesn’t translate to into direct conversions. Small businesses differ from larger businesses in the way they attract consumers and therefore should focus on their websites and social media differently in order to get the most value.
Despite living in a technology savvy world, many small businesses are still not taking advantage of the internet as a crucial business tool with one-third of small businesses planning to begin using a website for the first time this year. While many don’t see the value in investing money on their websites, having a strong internet presence is actually one of the best ways for small businesses to attract customers.
Websites are a starting point for most customers in their research and buying journey and businesses should consider their website as their first impression – a digital handshake of sorts. While large businesses have the advantage of having a strong, established and recognizable brand, small businesses need to put in that extra effort to stand out. Having an appealing, informative and user-friendly website gives small businesses the credibility and competitive edge to attract new customers.
Small businesses who already have an online presence should focus on strengthening their websites through SEO. While many small businesses plan to invest in improving their websites, only 21% plan to use SEO despite it being a huge driver of traffic for small businesses sites. Having a good SEO strategy allows business to be properly indexed and displayed within search engine results. This in turn allows consumers researching online to find their business and learn more about it.
When it comes to SEO, small businesses should focus heavily on local SEO to increase web traffic and sales. Most small businesses are local which means in order to grow and attract customers, they need to place themselves locally. Google is aware of the frequency of local searches and works to promote local businesses by placing them first in local search results. However, this placement can’t be done without local SEO.
Small businesses can use general keywords to describe their business such as “coffee shop”, “custom builder” or “marketing agency”, but that alone won’t help them show up in local searches. To incorporate local SEO, businesses need to strategically mention the city, county or region in which they are located throughout their website. Using more locally specific keywords such as “marketing agency in Cartersville” or “North Georgia custom builder” are a great way to start gaining local traction. Fully building out the company’s Google My Business Listing and incorporating video on YouTube will help as well.
Social media has a reputation for success, especially among small businesses. While small businesses take advantage of social media and budget it in their marketing strategy, they don’t always receive the results they expect from it.
Rather than relying on social media for conversions, small businesses should focus on the using their social platforms to increase brand awareness, target audiences, create relationships with customers and boost website traffic. While social media can certainly help small businesses to generate leads and potential direct sales, it shouldn’t be the main focus.
Grow Brand Awareness
Similar to a business’s website, social media is often a consumers’ first impression of a business and an important tool for growing brand awareness. On social media, it’s important to ensure that branding (logo, color scheme & fonts), bios and all the information posted reflects the business’s values. To increase brand awareness, businesses should focus on consistency across all social platforms when it comes to branding and scheduling content. Overtime, customers will associate the consistency and professionalism with the business and develop positive brand recognition. When consumers are aware of a brand and have a positive outlook towards it, they are more likely to interact and share it with others.
Reaching the target audience can be difficult for businesses, but it can be made easier with a well-planned social media strategy using both organic and paid reach. Businesses can use social media posts to reach their ideal target audience. Having a defined target audience will help small businesses figure out the best strategies for reaching them. Once defined, they can create unique targeted campaigns to continue reaching their ideal audience and acquire potential leads.
Create Relationships with Customers
Social media was built to connect people and it continues to evolve as aa valuable communication tool. Creating and strengthening relationships between businesses and customers is one of the greatest benefits social media can provide. Through social media, businesses can communicate with consumers through comments and direct messages, as well as encourage them to interact with their social media pages by tagging photos or commenting on posts. Thanks to video story features, businesses can also host Q&A chats or video blogs. Not only will this boost engagement, but it will also show the personal side of small businesses that consumers love.
Improve Website Traffic
Social media is another effective way to small businesses can improve traffic to their websites. Using social media may not directly contribute to SEO, but it is a great way to share high-quality content from websites and gain more exposure. Published a new blog? Added a new website page? Have a product or service featured on the website that customers should know about? Share the link on a social media post for readers to click through, read and share with others.
Gaining success from website SEO and social media platforms requires a thought-out and well executed strategy. Need some help with achieving your small business goals? Let the team at Denim Marketing know. Call at 770-383-3360 or contact us today to learn how we can help you get the most value out of your small business’s website and social media efforts.