Small business owners have a wide array of marketing choices when selecting the right online marketing strategy to pursue with the goal of finding new leads that actually turn into sales. The most popular being paid advertising, SEO campaigns, and Social Media Marketing. Making a site that is streamlined to be attractive to the search engines through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most talked about tactics that drives traffic to websites generally through Google. It is always important to build a website based on proven SEO principals, but in today’s online world failing to engage with the community through social media sites is a big mistake.
Google now puts value on the number of shares, likes, +1’s, etc. that a site receives when producing its search results. Therefore social media campaigns also have an impact on a company’s search rankings for their desired keywords. A great SEO strategy with lots of backlinks is no longer enough to gain high visibility and traction online. The best marketing campaigns for a small business include a combination of both solid SEO principles and promotion of social media channels. Paid search advertising and banner ad space can get a new site the exposure it needs to reach customers; but it is usually way too expensive for most small business marketing budgets.
Basic SEO Principals
In order to get the most out of your social media campaigns it is wise to have a site built based on best practices concerning search engine optimization. The following are a few guidelines that are important for your web development team to follow when designing your site. But doing these alone will not drive the traffic you desire until you begin sharing your website’s content on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere providing readers the opportunity to share, like or +1 the content you are distributing.
- Create a site map.
- Develop unique page titles, keywords, and page descriptions.
- Use keywords in headers and body of text, but don’t overdo it.
- Create backlinks, but use a family of similar keywords not just one or two.
- Include blog titles in the URL for the company blog
Of course there are dozens of other aspects for building a website with SEO in mind and so it is important that you have a web developer that is adept at SEO techniques when building the website. Many small business owners fall into the trap of trying to implement what they read about SEO strategies that pertain to affiliate marketing companies that are only seeking traffic through Google search and are not actively selling a product themselves or building a brand that customers will return to.
Social Media to Drive Traffic
Using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, and other sites to promote content about the business, products, and services provided should be the majority of your focus. Building a community of people interested in the industry the business is in, is much more effective than building thousands of links on irrelevant websites. Individuals that actively follow a business on Facebook or engage with the company on Twitter are actually helping to promote the brand to their followers and friends simply by engaging and having a discussion. This can be the best kind of exposure as the business is able to reach additional people that may have similar interests. By focusing on creating an effective social media marketing strategy the business has a much greater chance of being noticed by others that will take the time to write or comment either on the social sites, but also on their own blogs and other websites which can result in very high quality links. Building links is a huge part of any effective SEO plan and one of the best ways to get others to link to your content and discuss your brand is through unique and original content that is shared through social sites.
Make sure your site has the basic requirements that the search engines are looking for. Be sure to have a well-designed website and leverage social media to generate the high quality links and discussions that will really send traffic to your site. If you have the ability to create original content then you don’t need to worry about creating an intricate link building scheme as it will more than likely end up getting sniffed out by Google anyways. Small business owners are much better off spending their online marketing budgets building value for their community and actively participating in industry focused discussions throughout the web.
Christian Fea is CEO of Synertegic, Inc. A Joint Venture Marketing firm. He exemplifies how to profit from Joint Venture relationships by creating profit centers with minimal risk and maximum profitability.
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