You run a bold, innovative small biz and you know you’re better than the big competition – but how can you convince more people of that fact? Cutting through the online noise is the key to getting new customers, and you should design a marketing plan that gets your small business the right amount of positive exposure. Here are five very cost-effective ways to do it!

Enhance Your Website’s Data

There’s an old saying in digital marketing circles: “The best place to hide a dead body is on page 2 of Google.” If your site isn’t one of the first returns for locals using keywords related to your business, it may as well not exist. Luckily, there are small but powerful things you can do to the look, organization, and backend content of your site to please Google and get your website on page 1!

You have to maximize the search engine optimization on every page of your website, front and back. Include an SEO title and meta description for every page and post you publish; this is the information that will be displayed in the search engine results pages, so you need to make it as enticing and relevant as possible.

Use The Right Keywords

Whenever you create content for your site, be they product descriptions, the About Us section, or blog posts, you have to consider your audience. What search terms are they using to look for a product or service like yours? This is why keyword research is the beginning of any good SEO and online advertising planning. It identifies the purpose of your audience’s search so that you can figure out who they are and what they want. 

Focus on keywords with both “commercial” intent – the ones that can bring you profit – and “informational” intent – those that direct traffic and links to your site. These include descriptive words that will help your customers pinpoint the exact product or service they need. Word of warning: bidding for these can get very competitive, so having a digital marketing team doing the keyword work for you is a major plus.

Use The Big Three Social Media Platforms

Get your small biz on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Don’t lose focus and try every new platform that comes around; social media sites come and go almost as regularly as the tides (remember Path, Peach, and Ping? Probably not!). Focus on using the “Big Three” in ways that are suitable for your business: it could be posting your daily menu, holding a contest, or giving your customers a behind-the-scenes look at what you do. Post regular updates and find an engaging angle for each one! The best part is, these accounts are free marketing tools (though you can pay for certain features that spread your reach!).

The most reliable way of making the most out of social media is becoming a part of the conversations taking place – keywords are everything on Twitter, Instagram, and even Facebook, just like with SEO. Know them and use them to engage with existing and potential customers, industry experts, and everyone else!

Despite the commercial appeals of the “Big Three,” let’s not forget LinkedIn, especially if you’re in a business-to-business (B2B) trade. LinkedIn is a great place for building your network, and the same rules apply here as on other social platforms – engage with relevant partners, create attractive content, and offer insightful advice.

Get Reviews On Your Google My Business Profile

Google My Business is a free, easy-to-use tool for small businesses, letting them manage their online presence in various Google properties, including Search and Maps. It’s also an easy way for people to rate and review businesses for the benefit of other customers. When it comes to more exposure, you can see where this is going.

Positive reviews build consumer trust and give your small business a very attractive star ranking next to its name on the map. It’s more than just consumer confidence, though: My Business reviews are a known factor in Google’s SEO ranking. By getting more of them, Google will see your small business as an authority, and direct people using relevant keywords to your My Business profile!

Guest Blogging

Right now, being a part of a community is important for small businesses. If you’re creating content for your site, try to make guest blogging a part of your strategy! It’s a great way to get quality content, increase your authority on Google, and link up with other small businesses looking for exposure, too. While you might not have money to pay them for the writing, you can guarantee social media promotion and links back to their site – a win-win for both parties!

You can also reach out to like-minded businesses and offer to write content for their blogs, too! This is a great way to improve brand exposure, and if they like, have them include links back to your website (which can seriously improve SEO rankings). Try to nab spots on relevant, high-quality sites, preferably with no spam score and high domain authority. If they have social media, ask if they can promote it there, too!

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