Best, Cheapest and Most Efficient Advertising
As a small business you need to focus on your local market so as to build a strong reputation through a variety of channels without spending too much money. Here are my tips on doing just that:
1. Get Search Engine Optimized
Think about the keywords you want to focus on and then sit down and consider what people may be searching in Google to find the products or services you offer. Write these search terms down and place them in your web content, blog, meta titles, meta description and structured data.
2. Write a blog that targets local keywords
Blogs are great to beat your competition in a number of ways. Blogs assist with future customers seeing you as an expert, thus giving you credit when they are researching which company to do business with. Additionally, blogs allow you to show off your work and how it has benefited your clients as well as ranking better in search engines.
If you don't have a blog on your website I highly recommend getting one. As Woody says in Toy Story I - "If you don't have one, get one!"
I work in Norfolk, VA as a marketing consultant and my clients are always trying to beat the big corporations in the industries that they work in. This is very difficult because these big businesses have big budgets. Although, you can beat them if you focus on your local area and ensure that you optimize your keywords to include the towns around where you work.
For example, if you are real estate agent in Norfolk, VA I would recommend writing blogs about the Norfolk, VA area and the benefits of living in Norfolk. You could break up the blogs into the different areas of Norfolk to ensure that you have one blog for each area. If you wanted to build sales in Bay View Norfolk or Ocean View Norfolk make sure your blog has these keywords in it.
3. Add images to your website and optimize them
It is not just about text, it is also about your images. Each image you have on your website must also have a description with it. You can do this when you upload the image to your website - just rename it to a specific description. For example, if you are a renovation business in Virginia Beach and you just uploaded a photo on your site of your latest kitchen renovation, make sure to name the image 'Kitchen Renovation Virginia Beach.' In doing this your image will eventually appear in Google Search.
4. Videos, Videos, Videos
Google loves to constantly make changes to the algorithm of how search results appear. This year in 2019 it's all about videos. The growth of YouTube continues to boom and thus your small business needs to get on board before it's too late. This doesn't mean you have to spend thousands of dollars on getting a great video created.
Here's a real estate example: If you have a house that is for sale in Ocean View, Norfolk create a collage of images of the home, the floor plans and some images/videos of the area and then put it together in a free program (eg. imovie). When done post it to your YouTube channel. It's that easy! Oh and make sure when you post it, you optimize the keywords in the YouTube title and description.
5. Don't touch online paid advertising unless you know exactly what you are doing.
If you don't have the time or knowledge about PPC then stay away from this. You will waste money if it's not done correctly. I will write more on this in another blog.
6. Mailers - this is a tough one.
This is a tough one, it really depends on your industry and what you are trying to achieve. Mailers can be quite expensive and because you are not sending to a highly targeted group, then the return on investment will be much lower. If you want to increase brand awareness I would say go for it. If you want sales asap I would say consider the other options that are discussed in this blog.
7. Get on Social and do it right.
Social media is great to keep in contact with past clients, it's great to get reviews and it's great for branding. New customer growth is a tough one, but if a strategy is implemented and you are pushing on a variety of marketing channels, social media can be great. Social media is also great for indirect marketing. If you are following pages that have users asking for recommendations you can promote your business and provide your services. Nextdoor is good for this. A lot of people ask for local recommendations - keep an eye out and see if you can connect with these residents.
8. Get reviews
Get good reviews, I mean get great reviews. If you have had happy satisfied customers in the past, send them a quick email or text them a direct link to your review page. In Google My Business you can find your unique url, copy it, then send it out with a nice message!
9. Implement Structured Data to your website
This is getting a little nerdy, but this is all about rich data showing up on your Google Search. My renovation client now has reviews that appear on Google Search. This is important for my client as it stands out from the competition and is attractive to the user searching. Especially if it is 5 stars.
10. Make sure you have a professional, optimized website
It is so important to have a website that is easy to use, easy to access the information needed and easy to contact you. Also, the website must be mobile optimized. More and more people are searching for products and services while on their mobile phones. If you don't have a mobile optimized site let's chat and we can build one.