Few small business owners are aware of the incredible complexity of internet marketing. Still, nearly a quarter of overall marketing spending last year went toward internet marketing solutions. Though most businesses know it’s important, they aren’t sure exactly what it entails or how it works.
There are three major areas of online marketing that businesses should know about and be considering: SEO, paid advertising, and social media. Each one plays a vital role for any company looking to improve visibility and generate leads.
Rated as the single most effective tactic for lead generation, SEO has been called “very effective” by 34% of marketers. It stands for search engine optimization, and it’s about taking steps to improve a site’s ranking on search engines for certain relevant keywords. Given that a full 42% of search engine users click on the top-ranking link, it isn’t difficult to see why small businesses prize high rankings.
Essentially, SEO tactics can be divided into two categories: onsite and offsite. Onsite SEO deals with the internal structure of a site and its use of common keywords. SEO agencies will help small businesses create sitemaps, clean up their title and meta tags, and keep their blogs updated, all in an effort to increase a site’s footprint on the internet and to make it appear more relevant to its relevant keywords. Offsite SEO involves the posting of high quality content around the web that links back to the target site. Companies often enlist the services of SEO agencies to help them write and syndicate relevant content.
Pay per click advertisements are used to direct traffic to your site, and you only pay the publisher when the ad is clicked. Most small businesses allocate the majority of their PPC budgets to Google Adwords and Bing Ads and enjoy the opportunity to closely measure the success of their advertisements. PPC is well-loved because it gives advertisers more control over campaigns and provides more instant results than SEO. However, it can be ineffective if it isn’t implemented after informed, careful research.
To use PPC successfully, it is important to track conversions, establish performance indicators, build and prune keyword lists as necessary, put together quality listings, and direct users to a strong landing page.
The importance of social media marketing packages in the internet marketing world isn’t hard to imagine. Minimally, 65% of adult internet users make use of at least one social networking site. Still, more than half of all small business owners feel that they need help improving their social media marketing skills. Users expect small businesses to provide quality content, interact with fans and followers, and to respond quickly to questions and comments. For many small businesses, that’s a very tall order.
While it is important to build a personal skill set for social media marketing, it is not uncommon for companies to outsource their social media campaigns to professionals. These agencies will syndicate content, post updates, and provide support.
The world of internet marketing is a vast one, and it can easily feel overwhelming for a small businesses working hard to focus on the other components of success. There’s no shame in hiring a professional, especially since many agencies specialize in working with small businesses and can offer very competitive and reasonable prices. If internet marketing success is eluding you, don’t hesitate to enlist help. You’ll be sure to reap the benefits. Find more on this here.