By now, most business owners understand they need some sort of web presence to get noticed by today's consumer. But many clients we come across are overwhelmed by the different options and have no idea where to begin with their online marketing. We've put together an 8-step guide to walk any business owner through some of the best actions they can take to get their business noticed online. A downloadable PDF version of the guide is available on the Kapeesh Team Blog.
Your 8-Step Online Marketing Plan Or How To Make Your Business Stand Out Among The Rest
STEP 1: GOOGLE MY BUSINESS AND GOOGLE+
Google is the largest and most powerful search engine on the Internet, and they offer a FREE service for business owners called Google My Business. By setting up an account, you can access tools like Google+, Reviews, Google Analytics, Insights, Maps, and Hangouts. Optimize and manage each of these tools to make the biggest impact.
STEP 2: SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
It’s not enough to have a website. How does your website rank across major search engines for your targeted keywords? Conduct an analysis of your current rankings, and work on optimizing your site for search engine crawlers. When that’s complete, share links to your website online in forums or across social media.
STEP 3: ASK FOR POSITIVE REVIEWS
Develop a step in your customer service cycle that asks customers to review your business online. Google+, Yelp, Yahoo! Local Listings, Angie’s List, Consumer Reports, Facebook, and your own website’s testimonial section are all options for your customers. Depending on your industry, use only some or all of those listed. (i.e. A plumber would find Angie’s List or a BBB rating helpful, while a local restaurant would benefit from using Yelp.)
STEP 4: USE PAY PER CLICK MARKETING
Optimizing your website for search engines is the best way to get to the top of those results lists, but it can take time for web crawlers to find your new content and re-rank your site. Speed up the process by using PPC (Pay Per Click) marketing or Google Ads. For a fee, Google will put your site in front of users searching for relevant products or services.
STEP 5: USE SOCIAL MEDIA CORRECTLY & OFTEN
Social media platforms allow your brand to be in front of engaged users looking for content that is relevant to your business. Decide how much time you have daily to set aside for these accounts, and determine which platforms you want to use. Learn the ins and outs of each, and share solid content as well as links to you site!
STEP 6: PUBLISH YOUTUBE VIDEOS
Create a YouTube channel and share industry tips, day-in-the-life vlogs, new product or service announcements, and more! YouTube videos and Google Hangouts are a great way to reach your audience and prove yourself to be the industry expert. Because YouTube is owned by Google, keywords, tags, and content lends toward better search results and rankings.
STEP 7: SUBSCRIBER LISTS & EMAIL MARKETING
Capture your current customers’ contact information, and verify it with each transaction. Recording a valid email address for the purpose of connecting with your customer later is incredibly important. Send subscribers special offers, business updates, industry news, and holiday messages to keep your brand at the forefront of their mind. We suggest using Constant Contact for email and Feed Burner by Google for blog subscriptions.
STEP 8: LOCAL FORUMS & DIRECTORIES
No matter your niche, there is an online forum or directory for the services or products you offer. Create an account and engage with those users. Facebook Groups is a great beginner forum. Work to get added to local and industry directories. Some may have fees involved, but many are free. Don’t spam users with links and offers - engage them in relevant discussion and become the go-to expert.
I live and breathe small business marketing. Ask me about social media or digital reputation management over lunch, and we'll be there until dinner. Aside from consulting and educating business owners, my passions are martial arts, cooking, office supply collecting, and volunteering. Outside of my own community, I serve as Marketing Director for the 03XX Foundation - an organization serving Marine Corps Infantrymen and Corpsmen.