In the previous article, a beginner’s guide to Online Advertising using search engine marketing, we introduced the concept of marketing online utilizing web search. We also discussed essential tips to get you started if you are totally new to the idea of search marketing. In this article, we will discuss how small business owners can make the most of search marketing to grow their business.
Online advertising especially on search engines such as google, bing, yahoo etc can be quite confusing especially for small business owners who literally don’t understand how it works. The term “search engine marketing” includes both SEO — getting traffic via “free,” “organic,” or “natural” search results on search engines — and paid search (so thinking they are the same thing is completely reasonable). Despite the fact that both SEM and SEO are marketing strategies on the same platform (search engine results pages-SERPs) that use keywords, SEM is now used exclusively to describe paid efforts because the tactics involved in each are so different.
So how can small business owners leverage on search to boost their business? here are some well thought out strategies.
- DEFINE METRICS FOR YOUR SUCCESS
Before you embark on any online advertising campaign, you should have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish and how you will measure success.
Some businesses may want to increase traffic to their brand new website, some may just want awareness for a new product or service that they just launched while others might just be looking to simply increase sales. By setting a clear goal (and how much you are willing to spend to get that end result) you will be able to determine a strategy for your advertising campaign and how to measure your success.
We recommend you set up a campaign to measure each goal that you set up. This enables you to track effectively.
- UNDERSTAND HOW NEGATIVE KEYWORDS WORK
Negative keywords are keywords that drain your resources by getting clicks from people who aren’t going to become customers. Eliminating negative keywords on a routine basis will save you time, money and provide you with better analytics if not insights.
To target keywords effectively, and know why certain campaigns are more effective than others, you should try to align keywords with your business goals. One way to do this is to think holistically about the different ways that customers would search for your business. If you were a customer, what keywords would you put into a search engine to find out more about a product/service that your business offers?
This process is a rigorous and often requires proactive thinking in a customer sense but it is one that is very key in helping you eliminate invalid clicks that will not be productive to your business.
One of the benefits of Google Adwords is the ability to manage many different campaigns that have different keywords. Since different keywords have different purposes, you can measure each against different goals that you set for each individual campaign.
- SET UP A BLOG FOR YOUR BUSINESS
In this digital era, content is king. Setting up a blog for your business is a good to share useful content that will draw people in. It is not just for ranking high on search engines, it is aimed at bringing visitors in again and again by providing fresh content about your business on a consistent basis.
However, it is easier to write for some business than others. It will require a lot of research and planning to be able to produce premium contents
- GET ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Being active on social media is a great way for small businesses to get found online. In 2016, social media is the new SEO and so it is something to really think about if you are a small business looking to tap into the enormous opportunities online. It is worth experimenting which network works for your business and which doesn’t .
As a first step, set up profiles with accurate contact and web address details on the major social sites.
- BE WARY OF AGENCIES THAT PROMISE YOU QUICK FIX RESULTS
Anyone who truly knows about SEO will tell you it is a long term plan. So be wary of those agencies that will tell you that they can help you get to page 1 rank in one month. They will most likely use black hat SEO practices which will hurt your business eventually when it gets blacklisted and never show up again in the search engines.
There are no easy shortcuts to rank organically. A good SEO agency will help you to rank as highly as your site can, but it simply isn’t possible to guarantee page one rankings.
- AIM FOR EVER GREEN CONTENT
Evergreen contents are those content that doesn’t age too quickly. Unlike news-related posts, evergreen contents will keep visitors coming to your site in the long term.
This is great for search too, as this kind of content is more likely to get you higher rank on a long term basis.
- OPTIMIZE FOR MOBILE
Google is now focusing heavily on mobiles. This is obvious with their latest algorithms updates in 2015 which means that sites that are not optimized will miss out on substantial traffic.
And so as a small business, you have to ensure that your developer integrates all those elements of mobile optimization so that your site is fully complaint so you can deliver satisfactory experience for users
If you have any questions about the points we have just enumerated above, please feel free to drop your comments in the box below
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