Online strategies to promote your small business

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Do your business marketing strategies still belong to the stone-age era? It’s time to evolve. Technology has disrupted entire industries, businesses being at the forefront enjoying most of the innovation. In this article, we will learn various online strategies to market your business.

1. Create and verify your online business profile

An online business profile is what comes up on a search engine when someone types in your business name and location. The best and most popular search engine is Google but others like Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and Bing exist.
A Google business profile shows the pin location of your business in Google Maps. Include a persuasive service description of your business to get the best out of the searches.
The best way to verify ownership of your business is to subscribe to a free Google My Business Account. Once your verification is done, you need to improve your listing to rank higher for searches.

2. Set up a website

I know a website might seem irrelevant to some types of business but trust me you need one. Your website serves as a reference for both new and existing customers as to what you are offering. A website is a great promotional tool. Ensure that it looks professional and alluring.
Features of a good website include;
• A brief history of your business
• Products and services, you offer
• Business’ contact information
• Reflection of your brand personality

3. Start a business blog

Blog content is a promotional strategy and a huge driver of SEO which we just touched. A great blog produces educational content, showcases your brand, answers product/service questions, and identifies unique terms your customers are searching for.
Unique terms and questions that customers constantly search for are called keywords. For your business to show up at the top of Search Engine Result Pages, ensure your content has keywords.

Here is a list of types of blog posts you can write:
• Instructional posts (how-to)
• Guest posts
• Q & A reviews
• Template posts
• Strategy list and resources

4. Share your content

Publishing posts is only half of the job, you should promote your posts to ensure they reach as wide an audience as possible. You could make downloadable guides, email newsletters, and social media to further promote you posts.
If you make a point of sharing your posts, other websites and social media feeds might notice you. This will in turn bring traffic to your published content.

5. Hold promotional contests

Contests are a great way to attract attention to your brand. A promotional contest in exchange for free products/services will set you up for an increase in sales.

6. Use search engine optimization (SEO)

SEO is a set of applications that align your business with the Google search ranking algorithm. The algorithm uses machine learning methods and user behavior to make search results. As such, your task is to optimize for searches on your business sector or the products/services you have to offer.
SEO isn’t just putting one practice into play but a variety of techniques that work together to improve your ranking. SEO content strategies to improve your search results include:
• Adding relevant keywords to your search results
• Regularly creating high quality, unique content, labeled with images
• Sustain high page load speeds and web security
When your business is ranking high in search results, the search engine is basically marketing your business. Who wouldn’t want that?

7. Create a listing on major directories

A web directory is a catalog or listing of websites. It contains entries of businesses ad their contact information.
You may opt to list your business on all major directories for more exposure for your business. Most directories are free but may need to be paid for to access advanced features and services.
Here is a list of all major directories:
• TripAdvisor
• Yellow/white pages
• Bing
• Google
• Facebook
• Glassdoor

8. Improve your listing

After creating your listing, the next step is to optimizing. Optimization includes adding photos, filling in all relevant information on your profile, and collecting business reviews.
Ensure all the information in your listing matches the information on your website, otherwise you will be deemed illegitimate. Monitor your listing continuously and fix any changes in information caused by auto-updates.

9. Collect and analyze online reviews

Reviews are important that you need to put them up in their section. Online reviews are the modern word of mouth, a powerful tool in marketing. Testimonials on credible platforms such as Google, Yelp, or Facebook make your business look better.
Analyze and respond to your reviews. This gives you a chance to address the negative reviews about your products/services. Additionally, you respond to the positive comments reinforcing your brand’s value on your existing and prospective customers.

10. Hire a consultant

If you find digital and internet marketing daunting, hire an expert to help you out. For a small business, you might need to focus more on business strategy and operations and leave the internet marketing to someone else.

In summary

It is important to harness what technology has to offer to properly harness internet marketing. Properly executed online internet marketing strategies will boost your business exposure and most importantly your sales.

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