This piece comes across as extremely negative in tone. Both the intro and conclusion focus on how small businesses have limited resources and how overwhelmed they feel. What a great way to make a small business owner just give up before they get to the useful parts.Both intro and conclusion could be reframed to convey that there is untapped opportunity here. Furthermore, it is something of a greenfield since most small businesses do not have a well-develeped web presence. Thus, if they put in some time and effort, they can be the only small business in their niche that anyone can find online. The example you use for your case study is also off putting. Even very talented people suffer from self doubt. It makes it feel like you can only help me if I am totally awesome. What if I feel very ordinary?
When traffic is coming to your website or blog, nearly unfettered, it gives you the opportunity to test out a variety of marketing initiatives. However, without that traffic, you're forced to spend money on costly ads before really determining the effectiveness of your offers and uncovering your cost-per acquisition (CPA), two things which are at the core of scaling out any business online.
You’ve likely noticed when you search for a business on Google, you’re often presented with a well-structured listing that includes hours, contact information, and Google Maps directions. If your business isn’t yet listed, or you simply want to edit the information that is already out there, Google My Business will guide you through the process. You can also use this service to update your hours if you plan to close for a particular holiday or you move to a new location.
5. Not distributing the workload. Online marketing is too vast and complex to be managed by a single person. To be done right, it requires a team of professionals knowledgeable across one or more of each distinct discipline. Of course, hiring an in-house team can be costly, which is why many business owners choose to source their online marketing to agencies.
SEO techniques can be classified into two broad categories: techniques that search engine companies recommend as part of good design ("white hat"), and those techniques of which search engines do not approve ("black hat"). The search engines attempt to minimize the effect of the latter, among them spamdexing. Industry commentators have classified these methods, and the practitioners who employ them, as either white hat SEO, or black hat SEO. White hats tend to produce results that last a long time, whereas black hats anticipate that their sites may eventually be banned either temporarily or permanently once the search engines discover what they are doing.
Disney initially stated they wouldn’t exceed one million in donations, but ended up donating two million after the campaign blew up. #ShareYourEars campaign garnered 420 million social media impressions, and increased Make-A-Wish’s social media reach by 330%. The campaign is a powerful example of using an internet marketing strategy for a good cause. #ShareYourEars raised brand awareness, cultivated a connected online community, and positively affected Disney’s brand image.
As discussed above, researching your competition is a good place to start when creating a website that captures customers and keeps them engaged. By using the keywords that bring customers to your website you can determine what may or may not be beneficial to your marketing strategy. Also, make sure that you are optimizing all aspects of your site; add alt text to images; use at least two headers on each page or with each post, if you have a blog; and use external links. Don’t forget to keep on testing, as well. Strategies and plans need to have a fluid component. Business moves fast online, and so does the way search engines rank. When your competitors change the construction of their web presence, it will affect you. It’s important to avoid working with a reactive approach. Stay proactive and do your own research to determine the best way to stay at the top. Additionally, make sure that the rest of your company is in prime condition. As the saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. A balanced company is a successful one.
Great post Morgan! Establishing a definitive brand is a huge part of proper marketing and overall client outreach. A good way for small businesses (who already have the fundamentals in place) is to ask existing customers what lasting impression they have--whether it's a small mom-and-pop shop or a more cutting-edge company. Once you have a clear vision which direction you want to move in and how you want to personify your business, the marketing strategy will be much easier to develop. Also, you have to be patient as it does take time for a brand to reach the masses. After all, Apple didn't become a success overnight :) ~Vishal
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