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Why every small business needs digital marketing

For small businesses, online visibility is the most important aspect of any digital marketing initiative. Without visibility to the target audience, there can be very little in the way of website traffic and, hence, customer conversions, not to mention any meaningful amounts of data to analyse for the improvement of future marketing plans.

Small businesses today have the advantage of the internet to reach their target audience, which allows them to compete on an (almost) even playing field with market leaders in their industry. However, in order to access that “even playing field,” a small business must be well informed about the gatekeepers to visibility online – the major search engines.

The major search engines, led by Google, hold the key to the visibility of any website online. With literally thousands of new websites being created on a daily basis, any business that does not know how to make itself known to the major search engines will be relegated to the depths of obscurity. It does not matter how good the brand or the product is when a business is just starting out; online marketing is everything.

A major part of online marketing is Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which can be defined as the series of techniques that enable a website to become visible within the major search engines, thus becoming much more visible online to a targeted audience. There are many aspects of search engine optimization, and the discipline continues to become more precise with every search engine algorithm update. Search engines are much more sophisticated than they were even just a few years ago so the techniques  you use need to stay abreast of the latest best practices in order to avoid stagnating.

Today, digital marketing is a full-time job. There are very few small businesses with the manpower or the time to dedicate the right amount of resources and employees to it and still have enough resources to devote to the day-to-day operations of business.

Most small businesses that are successful create partnerships with consultants that perform the majority of the legwork of a digital marketing strategy.

An SEO consultant will develop an online strategy that will implement the latest SEO initiatives and steer clear of common pitfalls; ensuring that its efforts are met with the greatest amount of success possible. A good consultant will also be able to navigate the ever-changing waters of SEO, informing a business when it needs to change strategies before the older strategies become a hazard to online visibility.

Below are just a few of the aspects of a digital marketing strategy that are important for online success.

1.Keyword optimization

The first and most important aspect of SEO is defining the key words and phrases used in online searches by the target audience. This will help the Google algorithm to index the website properly and list it for the right keywords. Keywords are the words that people type into a search engine query box in order to find products, services or information. In order to direct the visibility of a business online toward an audience that will likely receive it well, a website must be listed for the appropriate keywords.

2.Content Marketing

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach that involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and engage a target audience. The primary goal of content marketing is not to directly promote a product or service but to provide information, advice, or other forms of value to the audience. By doing so, content marketing aims to build trust, establish authority, and foster long-term relationships with potential customers.

A content marketing strategy involves developing various types of content, such as blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, podcasts, social media posts, and more. That content focuses on understanding the specific demographics, interests, and pain points of the target audience. This helps in creating content that resonates with viewers. It should encourage audience interaction and engagement, such as leaving comments, sharing on social media or reading other pieces of content on the same website via call-to-action links.

Content marketing is often seen as a long-term strategy, as it takes time to build an audience and see significant results. However, when executed effectively, it can be a powerful method for driving brand awareness, customer loyalty, and ultimately, sales.

3.Link building vs link earning.

The ability to build links that point toward a website encompass an important part of the overall ranking of that website within the major search engines. Major search engines like Google consider a site that is linked to a great deal to be reputable and informative. Sites that are reputable will be listed much higher in search engine rankings than sites that are deemed uninformative.

However, it is not enough to simply throw links around on any webpage that you can find. The major search engines also take note of the reputation of websites that link to a business as well. In order to raise the ranking of a website, business must have links from highly reputable websites. Today it is about earning links not just link building. Link earning is were you create content for a community which it will naturally share in the form of backlinks.

4.Social media mentions and interaction

Social media activity and interaction with a target audience can be essential for certain types of businesses (although not all and often not B2B businesses). By connecting with audiences on the social networks they frequent, businesses can raise awareness of their products or services and also elevate awareness of their brand.

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