The Top 2 Online Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
If you are a small business owner, one of the biggest challenges you face is figuring out how to grow your small business with marketing online. Here are two online marketing strategies for small businesses that are guaranteed to improve lead generation, traffic and sales.
Online Marketing Preparation
Before you do any marketing online, make sure that you have a website that is fast and well-designed and that you can make changes to easily. WordPress is one of the best platforms out there as it is SEO friendly and there are several drag-and-drop web builders such as Divi, Elementor, etc., to make updating and changing your website a breeze.
Being able to make changes is essential in order to help your website with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In its basic form, SEO is the practice of optimizing your web pages with targeted keywords that people search for in an effort to help your website rank on search engines.
The Two Main Online Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Small Business
When it comes to online marketing, there are two main ways to drive traffic to your website. The first is via paid traffic such as paid ads. The second is via organic traffic such as search results on Google.
Which one is best? Let’s get into it.
1. Paid Traffic Marketing
Paid traffic, also known as pay per click (PPC), is a method of marketing where you can pay to have ads targeted to your prospective customers in the hopes they will click your ad to land on your website.
- If you need traffic immediately, this is a great way to get your business/products/services some exposure.
- You have the ability to target specific keywords, audiences, interests, and behaviors depending on the platform you use.
- You can set different campaign goals. For example, you can leverage the platform to help with making conversions (sales) or generating leads.
- PPC advertising is expensive! Depending on the platform, you will pay per click or impression. This means that you aren’t paying for conversions, but just for the traffic, which can add up fast.
- Your niche may be really expensive due to the auction bidding system these platforms use.
- These platforms are really complicated and require A/B testing, constant adjustments, as well as creatives that must be updated regularly. Each platform is also different from the other, thus requiring you to master each system individually.
- You have to spend a lot of money to “dial in” your campaigns by testing ad copy, images, videos, and call to action verbiage.
- Running PPC campaigns takes constant maintenance and requires a lot of time and attention to detail.
- PPC is a flash-in-the-pan strategy. The second your budget runs out, your ads stop showing.
2. Organic Traffic Marketing
Organic traffic is achieved via content marketing, which is the practice of writing and optimizing content for SEO around a subset of keywords that you want to rank for on Google.
One of the best ways to accomplish content marketing is by creating informational SEO optimized blog content and publishing it within a blog or articles section on your website.
Over time, Google and other search engines will crawl your content and start ranking it based on keywords and search terms it deems are related to your content.
As your content ranks in Google, users will find it and click it to visit your website – thus exposing them to your business/products/services.
- Creating content is much cheaper than doing PPC.
- The content you create stays on your website forever, unlike PPC ads.
- The more content you create, the more keywords you can potentially rank for.
- Content can be considered “evergreen” and can produce traffic for many months/years.
- Blog posts have a compounding effect and can bring in more traffic the longer you blog consistently.
- Blog posts not only provide SEO value and potential organic traffic, but they provide helpful information to your prospective customers, thus building your branding/voice/tone.
- Blog posts help you become an authority in your industry.
- Blog posts can be used to soft-sell your prospective customers on a particular product or service.
- Blog posts can include calls to action to help increase sales, lead generation, etc.
- It takes time for Google to index and start ranking content. It is not an immediate effect.
- This strategy is an investment and may take months to start seeing the results, but once the results do come, they are long-lasting.
- Writing content can take time and human resources, which many small businesses have in short supply.
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Which Online Marketing Strategy is Better?
Both paid and organic marketing strategies are important and can produce great results. We recommend doing both if you can afford it.
However, if budget is an issue, organic content marketing should always be the priority.
The reason for this is that PPC marketing by nature is meant to be turned on or off. Content marketing, however, is a marathon and once you start, it needs to be nurtured and kept up with in order to produce long-lasting results.
This means that organic content marketing should ALWAYS be a strategy you are implementing, with PPC being a more optional strategy to use for short-term goals such as sales/promotions, etc.
These Online Marketing Strategies Can Grow Your Small Business
If you are wondering how to grow your small business with online marketing, both paid and organic marketing strategies can help you achieve your goals.
While organic content marketing should always be a strategy that is being deployed, paid marketing does have its place to help you meet short-term goals such as seasonal promotions or flash sales.
Both are fantastic ways to market your business online to help get it in front of prospective customers.