As you’re probably well aware, most companies don’t have unlimited marketing budgets. In most cases you need to select just a few cost-effective, high ROI marketing channels to help raise brand awareness. Despite the necessary expense, there are still a bunch of things you can do to boost online visibility on the cheap. Granted it’s not all “easy”, but if you have newest information and some time to master the right skills you can do a lot for online visibility with no more than a little bit of cash.
It’s All About Your Website
It might sound obvious, but it can never be overstated: your website is the most important element to your visibility. Whether it’s custom made or you leveraged easy-to-use website builder tools like ucraft.com or Betheme, the first thing to make sure of is that it’s optimized for mobile users. A lot of business owners don’t pay enough attention to this, but your Google ranking will more and more depend on how mobile-friendly your website is. Besides that, keep your design clean and simple, lose flashy banners and make updates to content regularly.
Make Your Content Count
Good content can go a long way. First and foremost, everything you have written for your website must be optimized for on-page SEO. This means that every page must contain your product / company keywords, and preferably include them in the titles as well as in the body of the text. But this doesn’t mean that you should stuff your page with generic keywords; they should look natural and integrated with the rest of the content.
You should also interlink your pages, especially if you have a blog. Linking the pages to each other internally will give you better search engine rankings and readers will spend more time on your website being able to easily navigate from one page to another. Don’t link unrelated pages together using your keyword as an anchor text; reference pages that are actually relevant to the new one you have just posted. If you have a ton of old blog posts, take the time to map out all the connections; it’s a tiresome job that won’t land you on the first page of Google but still offers substantial benefits – like maintaining the relevance and visibility of older content.
Great writing skills don’t comes naturally to everybody so creating amazing content isn’t always something you can just decide to do. If you have troubles finding the inspiration, talent or even time to pump out regular content updates, consider guest writers. This way you can find awesome and fresh content for your website while making connections with new professionals in your industry that can potentially extend your site and your content to a brand new audience. If you already have a network of influencers or industry experts, try tapping into that. If you’re short on personal connections you can always turn to paid services and marketplaces like GuestBloggerFinder, Growth Geeks and Upwork or broader service studios like BAW Media.
Spread Your Word On The Right Social Media
Google loves fresh content, and what’s good for Google is good for your visibility. But if you create regular content for your website another major benefit is having something new to constantly share on your social media profiles – and social media is all about frequency and consistency. You really don’t have to put up your business profile on every social platform there is, especially if you run a small business. Pick a few that you can closely and effectively manage and more importantly, go where your audience is.
Besides a Facebook page (that every business does and should have), find other social media outlets that are popular within your particular audience. If you are strictly in the B2B segment, then a polished LinkedIn profile and post sharing is essential for you. LinkedIn groups used to be a great way to find other professionals or your target audience through meaningful conversation but in the past few years they have become cluttered with sales pitches and shameless PR spamming. The good thing about LinkedIn is that you can post articles, case studies, or any useful “how to” pieces, and because of the context, people will actually read it, appreciate it and engage with it.
If you do business with consumers only, you must find what social platform best conveys your message. For instance, if you are in the travel, apparel or food industries, Instagram and Pinterest are mandatory. If you are in tech and business, Twitter is the place where your audience usually gathers.
The biggest obstacle you will encounter on social platforms is competition. Every company tries to distribute their content and attract consumers, so it’s tough for small business owners to break through. That’s why you should research smaller or more specific communities like Reddit, Quora, Hacker News, ProductHunt or other such platforms tied to your niche. Be careful though: the more focused platforms respond poorly (and often harshly) to obvious PR and advertising. You need to be honest, genuinely engaged and prepared to accept criticism, but if they accept you as a community “member” you will see yourself build a loyal customer base sure to convert to referrals.
Generate And Manage Reviews
While every business owner (I should hope by this point) understands the importance of referrals, both real and digital, a surprisingly large number of companies don’t manage the reviews they receive, let alone make an effort to generate the reviews and testimonials in the first place. Excellent reviews are priceless; you need to ask and encourage your satisfied customers to give testimonials and five-star ratings for your business. Do not assume that just because someone had a positive experience with your product or brand, that they will take the time to write up a review on their own. Also, if your business is registered on Yelp, TripAdvisor, or any other directory, be sure that you respond to both good and bad reviews in a timely fashion. And of course, be careful when responding to disgruntled customer comments; all feedback is relevant feedback and if you effectively absorb relevant feedback, positive word will spread.