SEO and marketing terms; image courtesy of India7 Network, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0, no changes.
SEO and marketing terms; image courtesy of India7 Network, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0, no changes.

When it comes to running a small business, the owner often wears multiple hats, working as the leader, the purchaser, the HR department, and the accountant. Add the role of marketing and running a small business can be quite the challenge. But with these five small business tips, marketing your business will come more easily and quickly attract more customers to your business.

Conduct Local SEO

When people search online for your business or a business like yours, what pops up? Hopefully, you answered your business! If not, it’s time to conduct some local SEO.

Local SEO (search engine optimization) focuses on increasing your visibility and ranking in search results. In other words, it’s a strategy that can help you become the first result of a search. When it comes to conducting local SEO, you’ll want to do the following:

  • Claim and update your business on online local directories like Yellow Pages and Whitepages
  • Claim your business page on Google’s Google My Business and Bing’s Bing Places
  • Encourage customers to write reviews about your business
  • Optimize your website content by including city and state in headlines and content
  • Research keywords to include in all of your website’s content

By ensuring your business information is accurate online and taking time to optimize your site and content, you can help increase your ranking in searches, making it easier for customers to find you.

Use Paid Advertising

Google Adwords, Sponsored Tweets, and Facebook ads are all forms of paid advertising online. You don’t need to have a large budget for it, either: Facebook offers boosted posts for as low as $3, helping a particular post reach about 1,000 more individuals than it would organically.

Paid advertising should be used in conjunction with search engine optimization (here you can find more about organic searches) to try and reach as many potential customers as possible. Take time in considering what you should pay to advertise. Options include:

  • Use Google Adwords to place an ad and show up first in search results
  • Boost a post on Facebook that alerts customers of new drink specials
  • Sponsor a Tweet that alerts customers of your loyalty program
  • Pay for an ad on Facebook that will appear in newsfeed

Keep an eye on the ads and see how they perform. It may take some time to find out what works for your business, so don’t hesitate to adjust as necessary.

Maintain a Social Media Presence

Your customers are going to be on at least one social media account, so go where they are and main a presence. Establish a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat to alert them of new drink specials, upcoming events, change of hours, and more. The point of social media is to engage with your customers, so feel free to ask questions (What do you think of our new drink? What would you like to see on the menu?) and respond to their comments on your page. You’ll build brand loyalty and interact with as many current and potential customers as possible. True, social media is great but can be too time-consuming especially if you don’t have a person dedicated to that task, so investing in a marketing tool that can automate the process will save you a lot of time and hassle.

Planning a blog; image courtesy of Ron Sela, via Flickr, CC 2.0, no changes.
Planning a blog; image courtesy of Ron Sela, via Flickr, CC 2.0, no changes.

Start Blogging

If you don’t have a blog, now is the time to start one. Not only does it help with your  local SEO efforts, it provides your customers more information about your business. You can write about whatever suits your industry: A small boutique might write about Fashion Week or trends that they notice. A coffee shop might write about the process of how coffee is grown and gets to their customers’ cups, introduce a new employee, or provide details about an upcoming event at their space.

Be sure to include the city and state in which your business is located in both headlines and the body of the content. Sprinkle keywords and semantic keywords throughout, but don’t “overstuff.” Aim for quality content: If you can only write one 1,000-word blog every two weeks, that’s okay. It’s better than multiple pages of poor quality work.

Send eBlasts

Email marketing is not dead and should be part of your search engine optimization strategy. Invite customers to sign up for your mailing list by offering a coupon or free treat with sign up. From there, send them updates about ongoing sales or specials, email-exclusive coupons, and more. If you have a rewards program, encourage them to sign up for this as well, and let them know they’ll get special members only rewards and discounts.

Put These Tips into Practice

With these five tips, you’ll have a better-rounded marketing strategy for your small business. They are simple enough to manage on your own but will make a big impact on your business overall.

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