Small businesses face a lot of challenges, and marketing can be one of the toughest. With so many options available, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure about which marketing efforts to focus on. That's why we're here to help!
In this article, we'll discuss two (2) types of marketing efforts that are essential for any small business: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Email Marketing. But first, did you know that businesses that use email marketing have a 4,400% return on investment (ROI)? That's right - for every dollar spent on email marketing, businesses earn ~$44.00 in return.
Now, let's dive in!
What's the Right Marketing Strategy for You?
With so many different types of marketing, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is best for your business. To start, consider your target audience and the message you want to convey. Here are a few popular options to consider:
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the practice of optimizing your website to improve its visibility and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). By optimizing your website, you increase the chances that potential customers will find you when they search for relevant keywords. SEO is important for any small business because it can help drive traffic to your website, which can ultimately lead to more sales.
So, how can you improve your SEO? Here are a few tips:
Research keywords: Before you start optimizing your website, you need to know what keywords you want to target. Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner to find keywords that are relevant to your business and have a high search volume. If you are a content creator (or even if you aren't) YouTube is an incredible resource for finding content that is trending related to your industry.
Optimize your website: Once you have your keywords, it's time to optimize your website. Make sure your website is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Use your keywords in your page titles, headings, and throughout your content. But, be careful not to overdo it - keyword stuffing can actually hurt your SEO.
Build backlinks: Backlinks are links from other websites that send users to your website. Search engines view backlinks as a sort of vote of confidence in your website's content. Reach out to other websites in your industry and ask if they'll link to your website.
Email marketing is another essential marketing effort for small businesses. This is the practice of sending promotional messages or newsletters to a group of people via email. The average person receives ~121 emails each day, and that can be overwhelming to the point where nonessential/uninteresting emails will be pushed to the wayside. Email marketing is important because it can help you build relationships with your customers, drive sales, and increase customer retention.
So, how can you make the most of email marketing? Here are a few tips:
Build your list: Before you can start sending emails, you need to build your email list. You can do this by offering a lead magnet - something valuable that people can download in exchange for their email address. The most common efforts are having a newsletter signup on your website, offering a discount/coupon for customers that sign up for email notifications, and using current/former client contact information to start your email marketing foundation.
Segment your list: Once you have your email list, it's important to segment it. Segmenting means dividing your list into smaller groups based on specific criteria, such as interests or purchase history. By segmenting your list, you can send more targeted and personalized messages.
Create valuable content: The key to successful email marketing is creating valuable content that your subscribers will look forward to receiving. Don't just send promotional messages - send helpful tips, industry news, and other interesting content that your subscribers will appreciate.
Establish Your Intent: Email marketing communication to just interact with customers is nice, but it needs intent. Are you promoting a new product/service? Are you unveiling new business updates? Things like those allow people to understand the intent of the email before they even begin reading. Action without intent is and when you don't have a direction, your content can get lost in the noise.
And remember, as a wise person once said, "Marketing is telling the world you're a rock star. Content marketing is showing the world you are one."
The Importance of SEO and Email Marketing Together
While SEO and email marketing are both important marketing efforts for small businesses, they're even more impactful when used together. Here's why:
More traffic: When you improve your SEO, you drive more organic traffic to your website. And when you use email marketing, you can drive even more traffic by including links to your website in your emails.
Improved engagement: When you send valuable and intentional content to your email subscribers, you increase engagement with your brand. And when people engage with your brand on an organic level, they're more likely to search for it online - which will improve your SEO.
Better conversion rates: When you send targeted emails to your subscribers, you're more likely to convert them into customers and in turn, increase referrals to your business. And when you convert more customers, you improve your bottom line.
As a small business owner, it's important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy. The key is to experiment with different tactics while also cementing the specific marketing efforts as a pillar for your business and find what works best for your business and target audience. Start by identifying your goals and budget, then explore different marketing options to see what resonates with your audience.
Kind and motivating words:
Doesn’t matter if the glass is half-empty or half-full. All that matters is that you are the one pouring the water. - Mark Cuban