Ten Website Marketing Secrets for Small Business
by Troy Miller from 2020 Impact Design & Marketing
Below are ten website marketing secrets that can assist online success for a small business. You can do well if you use professional marketing tactics and integrate your business online with a standards compliant website, using best practice digital marketing and SEO methods.
Secret 1.0 Use Professional Digital Marketing Strategy
Often small businesses are going ok but stalled in 3rd gear, with no marketing strategy and struggling to grow. Investing in professional digital marketing strategy will fix this ensuring better decisions and results from online marketing.
Due to popularity and cost efficiency, the Internet is playing a major role in successful digital marketing plans for small business. Good Internet marketers understand the traffic numbers associated with websites, directories and search engines, which leads to better results.
With around 90% of the search traffic Google (source Hitwise) is the main search engine in Australia, so it's important to be listed on Google for core products and services. Bing is the next major search engine owned by Microsoft, and they supply search data for Yahoo and MSN networks. All together the three networks share around 10% of search traffic.
Digital marketers know results from Google are needed from either organic or sponsored listings and advertising. For organic (free) listings, Google's Page Rank system is a key element and page rank research will identify the score required to achieve page one. The more competitive the industry the higher the page rank score required.
For sponsored listings Google Adwords advertising (pay-per-click) is one method that can get results, along with Google Display Network advertising, targeted directory sponsorships, website banners and cooperative EDM marketing. Investing in professional digital marketing strategy with 2020 Impact will identify the best sponsored opportunities to reach your target market.
Secret 2.0 Increase Web Traffic with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
What is SEO, search engine optimisation? This means building a website that complies to industry standards, in order to list well on search engines. It involves a series of web standards and includes elements such as; html architecture, strategic headings (H1, H2), text content, meta details and keywords, image alt tags, xml sitemaps and submissions, html sitemaps, backlinks and more.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the industry body who developed industry standards and best practices for building websites. For example: HTML (the Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are two of the core technologies for building Web pages. HTML provides the structure of the page, CSS the (visual and aural) layout, for a variety of devices. For more visit: w3.org
A website's file tag, page meta details and headings are important aspects of SEO as they provide the data for search engine listings. If you want to be found for a particular search term then you need to incorporate this search term into the page title, description, keywords, page heading (H1 or H2) and page file tag to optimise the page.
If you have a website but you're not sure it meets standards, find an expert who can audit your site and give you best practice web design and SEO. You can ask us about our Free Website SEO Audit, to determine if your site was built to industry standards or has any SEO issues? We review sites, advise what SEO elements are missing and the steps required to build search listings. Request our Free Website SEO Audit .
Once the audit is completed most small business websites need SEO services. Our SEO Starter Pack 1 looks at the main search terms recommended by Google, fixing page meta details (page titles, descriptions and keywords) and submitting an XML Sitemap to Google and Bing search engines.
Request our SEO Starter Pack 1.
Secret 3.0 Improve Credibility and Page-Rank with Strategic Content
For new websites developing strategic content is the first priority, as without good content website optimisation and marketing is impossible. Give some thought to the nature of your products/services and do some research online to see how your competitor's segment content.
Unique and compelling content is what Google likes, so think about your core products/services and unique ways to describe these services. Start developing content about your products/services outlining your expertise and what is unique about the service or items. The aim here is to become the local expert for what you do and build a local profile.
As a guide for small business, a 6-10 page website with around 250 words per page and a site overview of around 500 words for the home page is a good starting point. The site overview on the home page is important as it's usually the most visited page and allocated a higher page rank by Google than internal pages.
If you have a unique business with low competition you will do well on Internet, but finding a niche business without competition can be difficult. If you have a common business or broad products/services with high competition, then you may need to sponsor your way to page one and develop Google Page Rank (long-term) to make page one listings.
For a new small business Google Page Rank starts 0/10 then goes up to 2/10. After some time the page rank will start to grow as you invest in content, develop industry networks, high quality backlinks and social media profiles.
Keyword research is important in the early stages, do some research on popular keywords and niche or long-tail keywords that relate to your business, then build website landing pages with these, e.g. in page titles, descriptions, H1 headings and content.
Google's Keyword Planner is excellent for this and will indicate search terms and search volumes for a URL, product or service.Try to establish your main keyword phrases based on popular Google search terms with low competition levels, to assist page one possibility.
Secret 4.0 Boost Search Engine Content Indexing with Sitemaps
Sitemaps.org is the industry body who developed best practice for website content sitemaps and URL communication on the Web. Google and Bing (Yahoo and MSN) all support the use of HTML and XML sitemaps for enhanced content indexing. Sitemaps are an easy way for people to inform search engines about pages on websites that are available for crawling.
An XML Sitemap is an XML file that lists all URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it changes, and how important it is relative to other URLs) so search engines can intelligently crawl the site. Web crawlers will use the sitemap to discover pages within the site and learn about those URLs using metadata.
Try searching your business on Google and Bing to see how your business is being listed and use the results like a benchmark starting point for SEO services. The goal here is to determine how your site is currently indexed and what pages are listed on Search Engines. Once you know your search listings, review if your pages have been properly indexed, by looking at what content from the page meta details is being displayed in listings.
If you see content duplications or mistakes, update your web pages as soon as possible, or ask an SEO expert to review your website. When satisfied your site content is right, the next step is to build more content as you need hundreds of pages to satuarate Google listings.
I suggest using a professional to produce an XML sitemap and submit this to major search engines. The major search engines (Google and Bing) have sitemap submission and site verification procedures that will assist content indexing. For assistance see our SEO Starter Pack 1 or visit: sitemaps.org
Secret 5.0 Promote your Business with Social Media
Social Media is a perfect tool for promoting a small business online. But which social media sites do you invest in to reach the largest memberships? If you research the most popular social media in Australia, through Hitwise or Adcorp, you'll see Facebook is number 1, YouTube is number 2 and LinkedIn is number 3.
Facebook is great for promoting yourself online by interacting with friends, followers and groups. A Business Page or Personal Page is like having a partner site that supports you. You can post news, articles and specials, invite members to events, create and join groups and install apps. When friends or followers interact with you (by liking, sharing or commenting) it helps your content spread and creates social signals. Please Like our Business Page and we'll Like you in return 2020 Impact. If you're interested in website SEO, please join our SEO group SEO Web Marketing.
YouTube is a great way to store your video content online and to learn watching education tutorial videos. YouTube was purchased by Google in 2006 and plays a role in assisting Google page one search listings. If you embed a quality YouTube video into a web page it will receive a boost on Google's search network. Users create their own YouTube Channel for uploading video content and backlinking videos to websites and social media. Video has become important for SEO results and developing video content is fast becoming standard practice. Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel.
Linkedin is a networking site for people in business and organisations. It's one of the fastest growing social media sites with over 3.2 million members in Australia (source Adcorp). LinkedIn is the Facebook for business and can be used to promote work experiences, apply for jobs, connect with people, post information, and find qualified people for a business. Please connect with us on Linkedin Troy Miller profile.
Google+ is a social networking site developed to compete with Facebook. If you have other Google accounts like Gmail or Adwords, you may have been asked to set-up a Google + account. Google+ has a newsfeed and following system called Circles where you invite people to be in your Circles (your following) and you get invited to be in other's circles (your followers). It's likely Google+ will become as large as Facebook in the near future due to their ability to create members from other Google services, and it will be a major social signal provider for Google's search listings. Please invite us to be in your Circles Troy Miller profile.
Twitter is the SMS of the Internet and used for posting messages about anything (articles/events/industry news/lifestyles) and favouriting Tweets from others. Twitter has over 200 million active monthly users and nearly 60% of Tweets come from mobile devices (source Wikipedia). While it's a challenge to keep Tweets under 140 characters, you link the full article or blog elsewhere online. Twitter is a great for promotion once you have built up followers. If you're interested in website SEO please follow us on Twitter Web Seo SEM.
Instagram is a photo/video sharing service that allows users to apply photo effects to their images and engage with followers. Due to the ease of using Hashtags and Profile tags, Instagram is great for distributing posts and finding similar enthusiasts. Their unique aspect requires photos to be square in shape and their video service is limited to 15 seconds. Instagram has a Like, Comment, Follow system and newsfeed. Please follow us on Instagram 2020impact.
Tumblr is a microblogging and social media platform with over 130 million blogs and 62 billion posts to date. They rank in the top 15 social media sites in USA and top 10 in Australia. Tumbrl has over 3.3 million unique monthly visitors (source www.quantcast.com) in Australia. Users can post photos, quotes, video, audio, links or chat with a unique dashboard. Follow or share on Tumblr with buttons simillar to other social media sites. Please follow us on Tumble 2020impact.
If you need someone to set up or optimise your social media, develop your social media plan and manage posts, please contact us for Social Media Strategies.
Secret 6.0 Perform Website Tracking with Google Analytics
Website tracking is monitoring the traffic that visits a website to obtain a picture of the visitors, e.g. what referring sites traffic came from, what search terms delivered traffic and what are the popular entrance pages on a site? Tracking can be done a number of ways, at the hosting server level with web statistics, or at the search engine level with Google Analytics or third party analytic programs.
Google Analytics is a tracking code and unique account identifier that's placed on web pages by a web developer to record information about entrance pages, visiting traffic and searches used to find a website. This includes tracking paid keyword searches like Google Adwords advertising and Internet directory sponsorships v's tracking free organic search listings and free Internet directory listings. Some examples of information available with Google Analytics are:
- Track total website session (daily/weekly/monthly/yearly)
- Track unique site visitors (daily/weekly/monthly/yearly)
- View all traffic sources (organic v's paid)
- Detailed search terms and keywords (organic v's paid)
- Track popular entrance landing pages
- Track total visits and unique visits
- Detailed referral site reports
- Geographic country reports
Successful web marketers use Google Analytics or 3rd party software to analyse site speed, site traffic, referral sources, keywords (organic v's paid) and backlinks that delivered Internet traffic to a site. The results will assist you to make better marketing decisions based on data.
Some popular 3rd party software for SEO analysis are; SEO Power Suite (Free Version), and Traffic Travis (Free Trial PCs). Even with limited functionality on free versions, the're still good for learning SEO.
SEO for Chrome by ShaunBannister is a good introduction to what SEO tools can show you. Get the Google Chrome browser then visit the Chrome Web Store, search SEO from Chrome and install the tool.
For assistance with installing SEO Tools and Google Analytics see our SEO Starter Pack 2.
Secret 7.0 Increase Traffic with Online Advertising (Google Adwords)
For a new website online advertising is important, as it will get a new site listed on Google fast and assist with traffic, e.g. before free organic listings appear. If you operate in a competitive industry organic results take time and require a long term investment in web assets before page one search listings are possible. In this environment sponsored advertising is a way to ensure a new business appears early on Google Search Network.
Google Adwords advertising is a way to promote small-medium businesses online, but it takes planned Campaigns (Adgroups, Ads and Keywords), matching website content and a reasonable budget to start for many industries, e.g. $1K to $2K per month.
Don't expect to conquer established industries unless you have deep pockets like industry leaders e.g. $10K+ per month. Consider if $1.00 cost-per-click was your average bid and think how to make this work as a cost-per-view of your web pages e.g. a good offer or competition on the landing page.
It's easy to spend any amount of money on Google Adwords but requires expertise to attract targeted prospects (real customers) and fine tune the performance of Adwords Accounts. Find an Adwords expert like 2020 Impact with experience in the techniques below.
We can help limit wastage and advise on ways to select popular keywords, write advertisements, conduct ad testing, improve ad quality scores, use site links and ad extensions, and find the cost-per-click bidding sweet spot.
Some techniques available with Google Adwords are:
- View keyword ideas by website, word or category
- View local and global monthly and yearly searches
- Trial multiple ads (split-testing) on search & content (display) networks
- View best performing keywords
- Turn on scheduling to limit out-of-hours wastage
- Set-up negative keywords to limit mistaken click wastage
- Monitor expenditure daily, weekly, monthly
- Set Campaign budgets; daily, weekly or monthly
- Increase expenditure when business is slow
- Activate and deactivate campaigns at will (immediately)
For assistance launching Google Adwords contact us Adwords Starter Pack 1.
Secret 8.0 Improve Internet Listings with Strategic Landing pages (SLP's)
A strategic landing page is a single web page dedicated to one key topic on your website and usually integrated with other lead-in sources. For example, you want to run a competition on your website, you would need an overview page on the competition to explain it, this is the strategic landing page. You might have a competition ad banner on your home page and one posted in social media, that link to the strategic landing page for traffic development.
Another example is a single page about your expertise for a particular niche topic. Say you're a health food company and one of your core products is alkaline green supplements. Then a page dedicated to this topic, that is educational explaining alkaline green supplements, why they're good for people with nutritional information and when people should take them, is an example of a strategic landing page.
When search engines index the SLP it starts to propagate over the Internet in search lisings and deliver traffic to the website.
Some of the secrets to building successful strategic landing pages are:
- A single minded topic of importance (core business products/services)
- Google prefers one topic and one keyword for each listing, e.g. focussed landing pages
- Build many variation pages, e.g. desk for offices, desk for warehouses, desk for surgeries, desk for students
- Use keyword search data to determine the most popular and niche topics
- Related 'keyword' titles, content and meta details (title, description and keywords)
- Related 'keyword' page file tagging e.g. /brisbane-website-seo-optimisation-small-business.html
- Related 'keyword' inbound page links from industry, lifestyle and niche directories
- Related outbound page links to industry, lifestyle and niche directories
For more information, ask us about our Strategic Landing Page Packages.
Secret 9.0 Improve Website Page Rank with Backlinking and Social Signals
Google was the first search engine to introduce off-page factors like backlinks (other sites), into their algorithm to determine the quality score for which a web page ranks. Prior to this it was mainly the content volume, headings and meta details (title, description and keywords) that determined how a site was positioned in searches. Now they include additional factors such as video embeds and social signals into their search results.
With Google a moderate Page Rank score is required to appear organically on most page one searches (top 10 listings). It's widely accepted quality backlinks are required to achieve a page rank score of 3 or more out of 10. On-page techniques and page volume will enable a site to achieve up to 2/10, then what is invested off-page e.g. quality backlinks, videos and social signals combine to increase ranking scores above 3/10.
Avoid low quality backlinks from black hat SEO service providers. This will not positively influence a website and may create Google penalties. Quality backlinks are a combination of government, industry and lifestyle links from high ranking sites. Aim for industry specific, older established sites and high ranking (Google Page Rank) sites.
Google can identify and penalise sites with unnatural volume links, and large increases in links in short periods, so it's not worth doing. It's reported there's a time delay of around 3-6 months to see Page Rank improvements for sites that have been improved legitimately.
Backlinks can be checked in a number of ways, with software, with Google 'Link:' operator searches, e.g. Link: www.2020impact.com.au, with Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics. With Webmaster Tools you can view links on a site by selecting a verified site and clicking the Links tab, then external links. The results should be considered an estimate and checked between methods as variations occur. Be aware backlinks provided by Google often say 'may not be 100% of the backlinks'.
With software like Monitor Backlinks you can do a free trial for 30 days and look at the type ot links (text, no follow, redirects), from URL, to URL, total links volume and unique URL links. The results can be downloaded to a CSV file and reviewed for benchmarking and ongoing development.
For more information ask about our Free Website SEO Audit.
Secret 10.0 Improve Website Traffic with Email Marketing
Email marketing is a cost effective way to reach subscribers and prospects and useful for pulling traffic to a website. There are many different systems to send emails and compliance with the ACMA Spam Act is needed to conform with spamming laws. HTML email marketing is a popular way to send information which invloves sending a web page to a database of subscribers.
You need a HTML newsletter template, a content management system (CMS) for edits, an email marketing system (3rd party system) for sending the web page like Mailchimp or Constant Contact and an email list of subscribers. 3rd party systems can be subscription or pay-per-send based and some offer great database systems for running surveys and competitions. Mailchimp offer a free service for up to 2000 emails which is a good place to start.
An investment in HTML email marketing should be considered a medium-term strategy if you are planning to implement this tactic, as it takes time to build the databased, brand your emails, and develop compelling content. Some knowledge is also required for image resizing and reformatting for web pages.
If you want to start HTML email marketing, find an expert like 2020 Impact who can create the first campaign, then hand over the keys with some training. Pre-planning preparation will also assist like starting an email group using standard email programs (Outlook and Entourage), developing groups of contacts and emailing a regular PDF newsletter.
A good way to obtain subscribers is to put a form on a website thats completed in exchange for information or invite people through competitions to join the mail list. Each campaign you will notice traffic spikes on the linked website around the send time. The more frequent you email campaigns the more traffic you develop on your website, but don't overkill the database with excessive frequency.
If you need assistance we can set-up your HTML email template, build branded email graphics, set-up email accounts with popular email engines MailChimp and SendStudio and conduct the first and ongoing campaigns for small businesses. For more information see our Email Marketing Package.
Bonus Secret - Improve Marketing Results with Traffic Metrics:
Understanding the traffic volume numbers associated with websites, Internet directories and search engines is important to ensure efficient online marketing spending.
Google page rank, unique monthly visits, monthly active members, total database subscribers and geographic location are some of the key metrics we look for when reviewing online sites and directories.
Just like circulation numbers in national newspapers/magazines v's local newspapers/magazines, you don't want to pay the same rates for advertising to smaller circulations, so why do this online?
See the Alexa Top 500 websites in Australia.
We offer a wide range of digital marketing specials including websites, SEO services, social media, email marketing and video production, for more information see our Digital Marketing Specials.
The Author: Troy Miller I firstname.lastname@example.org