Marketing advice for SMEs
Doing business effectively on the market is one of the biggest challenges small and middle-sized enterprises (SMEs) have to face with.
The emergence and constant development of the internet gave all companies the chance to build their brands and present their products and services on the global market. Additionally, if you think about the fact that the majority of shoppers now use the Internet before they make any purchase decision, in order to find all the necessary product or service information – which directly influences their decision making process – it is clear that this advantage needs to be used.
Would it not be convenient for your site to be on the first position in a search engine when potential shoppers look for a product?
In order to achieve this, you need two things: a good website and a good marketing strategy.
If you already have a fantastic website with good user experience, drawing up a marketing strategy would be the next step to take. Based on your knowledge on the subject matter, you can do it either yourself or hire a professional company to do it instead of you.
In this text we will try and present you some of the most effective marketing strategies for small and middle-sized companies. These tips will help you get noticed by your target audience by improving your site’s availability and visibility of your business.
75 marketing tips for small businesses:
1. You need SEO in order to get visits from your search engine. If you do not optimize your site, Google will not be able to index and rank it in search for certain keywords.
2. You need on-site and off-site SEO. You might miss out on good results if you do either of them solely.
3. Start doing SEO asap! If you can, do it now. The longer you wait, the more time your competition will have to outrun you, making it even harder to skip them again in the search results.
4. Get to know your competition. Study sites that are ranked on the first page of SERP for you keywords. Find out more about competition research and analysis.
5. There are no two identical sites. If an SEO strategy has given good results with one site, this does not mean that that can happen with your site as well.
6. SEO need not be expensive. Good results can be achieved even with a smaller budget, if you invest it into good content creation and online community management.
7. SEO does not bring instant results. The results of your work may not be visible at once, not even this week or this month. Sometimes, the first results can be visible only after six months have passed.
8. The newer the site, the more patience you will need. It takes time to assume authority and become trustworthy, but if you work hard, you can get better results than you competition.
9. Never even think that your site is done. It would be best to improve your site constantly if you want long-term results. Run a company blog regularly and stay up to date.
10. Adjust to the changes in Google’s algorithm. Google updates its algorithm from time to time. You need to be aware of them and adjust to their development. If you do white-hat SEO – it will not hurt you in any way. SEO resources can help you stay up to date with the upcoming changes.
11. Do not put yourself at a risk of being penalized. Do SEO honestly, i.e. do not use black hat ranking techniques! Learn when Google punishes.
12. Use Google Webmaster Tools. You can learn a lot from it.
13. Sign up for and use Google Analytics. This is a very powerful tool. It will provide you with priceless data about visits, the source of visits, as well as many other parameters.
14. Sign up for Google My Business and connect it with your website. Not only does this practice confirm your authorship, but it will also help you in ranking. Read more on how to verify Google authorship for your site, and use Google+ in the right way.
15. Use PPC for better SEO. Google AdWords advertising option will give you valuable information about keywords that are better for you.
16. Low quality = high risk. Low-quality links bring the risk of getting a penalty from Google.
17. Create content for people, not search engines. There is no point in creating content which brings high positions if it does not serve well for the search engines.
18. Remove duplicate content. You can be punished if you publish a text which already exists on another website.
19. Make sure your content is good for the first page. If your website’s content is not better than of those sites which are on the first page, then it does not deserve to be there.
20. Post videos. Visitors love videos and these improve bounce rate.
21. Create interesting graphics and infographics. These improve the odds of being more shareable on social networks.
22. Run a blog on your site. Writing a blog improves visits, authority and people read it more. People will be able to find you via more keywords as well.
23. Balance between content creation and content marketing. You will get better results if you find the time for doing marketing of the text your write.
24. Create unique, descriptive headlines for every text. It should contain up to 65 characters.
25. Create unique meta descriptions. Describe what your page is about in 160 characters. This description will help people decide whether to visit your site or not.
26. Research keywords before you optimize your site for them. No matter if you do on-site or off-site SEO, visits and sales will depend on the choice of keywords.
27. Use Google Keyword Planner. Being one of the best tools for keyword research, it will help you get ideas and analyze the existing phrases to be used in optimization.
28. Target relevant keywords. Choose keywords that are relevant for your site and product/service. The more relevant they are, the easier it will be for you to rank them higher.
29. Target commercial keywords. Some visitors search for information, and other are ready to purchase a product/service. Commercial keywords target the latter.
30. Long-tail keywords are a great source of visits. It is easier to optimize a site for long-tail, specific key phrases. This may come as a surprise, but more than 40% of searches contain more than four words.
31. Create a page for each keyword you target. This will help your site to be found in the search engines.
32. Position keywords in the right places. Back in the old days, this was a more relevant ranking factor. Nevertheless, it is good to have a keyword in the following places: URL, page title, heading tags, the first sentence on the site, in alt tags of all images, and in meta descriptions.
33. Avoid keyword repetition. Google punishes abnormal repetition of keywords.
34. Backlinks can influence your site the most. The quality and number of backlinks from other sites will influence your position in SERP highly.
35. Do not set goals for backlinks. You should be consistent in starting backlink campaigns. Do not give up on them after you have reached a goal (e.g. obtaining a number of backlinks, convincing a site to give you backlinks, etc.).
36. Get backlinks from relevant sources. Search engines want to provide their searchers with relevant results. If you have links from relevant websites, Google will consider your site more relevant for the users as well.
37. Create backlinks on quality sites. Sites with high trust, authority and ranking positions are considered quality websites. By obtaining links from them, you will increase your site’s value and position on Google.
38. Be prepared to work hard for high quality links. Generally speaking, the easier you obtain a link, the lesser their value will be.
39. Be cautious when buying links. Buying backlinks can bring you good results, but you need to be cautious. If they are sold openly, Google will know this and reduce their value.
40. Diversify your backlinks. This means that you should look for links in as many places possible. The more sources and ways you use to obtain them, the more natural quality assurance will be.
41. Create backlinks for every page you want to rank. Try to get links to other pages on the site, not only the home page.
42. Meeting people is the best source of quality backlinks. Ask your suppliers, partners, and clients to link back to you.
43. Create backlinks from the sites your competition is using as well. Analyze their backlinks using online tools and try to leave them on the same sites.
44. Create a few backlinks with target keywords in anchor text. These links are important, but make sure they make up for less than 25% of other backlinks.
45. It is desirable to brand the majority of backlinks. For example, “CompanyName” or “www.yourcompanyname.com”. If you have a lot of links, this will signal the search engines that you tried to manipulate anchor text and links.
46. Learn who links to your site. Use Webmaster Tools, Ahrefs, Majestic SEO or Open Site Explorer tool to get a better insight into you backlinks.
47. Every page on your site should be linked from at least another one. In the results pages, search engines do not show the links that are not linked internally (from the site itself) or externally (from another site).
48. Link your home page with the most important pages. Google will give them prominence and rank them better.
49. Link pages with other relevant pages on your site. For example, “for more information about this topic, see this Search Engine Optimization text.”
50. Remove unnecessary links to other sites. Leave only the links your visitors will find interesting.
51. Link to relevant sites and blogs. The aforementioned stands here as well.
52. Leave comments on relevant sites. Of course, leave a link to your site in the description. The comments should be useful, general, and attention-grabbing.
53. Keep in touch with your industry’s bloggers. The better bloggers know you, the more likely they will link to your site and share your content.
54. Contact companies in the same niche (websites). Good business connections will fruit in mutually beneficial promotion.
55. Add address and phone number on every page of your site. It would be best to put this information in site footer and let Google know where you run your business, so that it can rank you better for local search as well.
56. Put your link in local and industry-relevant directories. The greatest number of directories does not have high value, but ten links from local directory sites will not hurt you.
57. Remove low quality backlinks. If you have low-quality links, you can tell Google to skip them via the disavow option.
58. Ask clients to leave a review on your Google+ and local directory profiles. Positive review will improve your ranking on Google.
59. Stay open and friendly. Show how creative and unique you are, connect with people. Show your spark and that your company consists of people from flesh and blood.
60. Be active on social networks. Post interesting and educational content.
61. Enable better social networking. Implement Like, Tweet, Share, +1 buttons on your site.
62. Small enterprises can be better ranked than big companies. By employing good strategies, small enterprises can get better results than big companies.
63. Find out what you are highly ranked for. Using Google Webmaster tools, you can learn what queries had led to visits.
64. Your goal should be top 3 results, not top 10. If your site is not among the first three results, the odds of a visitor clicking your site is smaller than 10%.
65. Good position will not be the judge. The number of the pages that are on the first page is meaningless if the searchers do not visit them and eventually convert into buyers. This is why you need to write good headlines and include keywords in meta descriptions.
66. Do not worry about PageRank. Sites with lower PR can often outrun sites with higher PR in the results page.
67. Make a simple structure on your site. Users have to find every page easily – in only three clicks from the home page.
68. Use heading tags. Include variations of keywords in H1 and H2 tags.
69. Use rich cards and snippets. Mark up your content using structured data and help search engines to understand context and extract all relevant information about your site and company to improve visual presence in SERP (read all about it on Google Developers site).
70. Optimize your images. Use keywords in alt tags, but only if they are very relevant to your images. If not, describe them as they are.
71. Optimize site for mobile devices. The benefits of this are enormous: mobile device users will not leave your site unhappy, and Google will appreciate this and rank your site higher.
72. Increase your website loading performance as much as possible. Check loading speed using Google Site Speed tool and take necessary measures to improve it. Minify CSS/Js and add expire headers in .htaccess file.
73. Use a reliable hosting company. Ranking can drop if your site is unavailable due to server errors.
74. Follow SEO news and trends. See which are our favorite SEO resources and find more useful information.
75. Keep in touch with your SEO adviser. The more you know about SEO and the more your adviser is informed, the better the results will be.