Businesses thrived long before the internet was invented.
The internet gives us a new way to market and operate, but there are still some businesses that are stuck on their old ways, ultimately missing opportunities. Some business owners are stubborn and some are just straight-up scared of change.
There isn't a single business that can't benefit from marketing online. Take Little Church of the West, a historic wedding chapel that just celebrated 75 years of Vegas weddings. They thrived before the internet and they continue to do well, proving that every business can experience a successful transition to online marketing.
Here are six simple beginner-friendly ways to improve your online visibility.
1. Learn proper on-page optimization.
SEO (search engine optimization) is a term that scares many business owners, because they are under the impression that it's a complex process that will be impossible for them to understand. There are basic on-page optimization techniques that are easy to understand and implement, provided you have the correct resources. This guide explains the basics and if your website is built using WordPress, you can install this free plugin to help guide your on-page optimization.
2. Publish regular blog content.
Publishing regular content is a great way to increase your online visibility and attract traffic to your website. Content that is written for lower competition industries and smaller local markets will tend to rank higher in the search results, sometimes only requiring solid on-page optimization (see above). It also gives you an opportunity to provide your website visitors with informative content that can help build a relationship that results in sales and promotion. Delight your visitors and they will be more likely to share your content on social media, which can introduce additional consumers to your business.
3. Get active on a few social media networks.
There are a lot of social media networks, which makes it very difficult to effectively participate on all of them. Select two to three that you know, without a doubt, that your target audience is active on. For example, if you are a local flower shop, Instagram is a great choice because it allows you to post images and highlight your product. You might also want to be active on Pinterest, which is another visual social network. A car dealership, on the other hand, wouldn't experience the same results on Pinterest, making that effort a waste. Facebook and Instagram, at this moment, are two social networks that work for the majority of businesses.
4. Run targeted Facebook ads.
Facebook ads allow you to create very specific ads and place them in front of a custom audience that you select. For example, a local florist could create an ad for wedding flowers, and select a local audience located within driving distance to the flower shop and target women who like specific wedding-related pages on Facebook. With Facebook ads, you can attract the perfect audience with buyer-intent to your website.
5. Guest blog on relevant websites.
Guest blogging provides you with two great benefits. First, you are exposed to a very targeted audience, one that will have a high likelihood of being interested in your business. Second, you benefit from the links in your author bio, which helps your search engine optimization and can also drive very targeted traffic back to your website. Check out this guest blogging resource to learn how to guest blog anywhere.
6. Encourage your customers to leave online reviews.
Online reviews help to improve your online visibility by increasing your footprint online. If your local business is listed next to a competitor in the search results and you have 50 positive reviews and the competitor doesn't have any, what listing is the average consumer going to click on? The majority of consumers research a business before doing business with them, so make it easy for your customers to access your review profiles by creating a dedicated page on your website that features all of those links.
Jonathan Long is the Founder of Market Domination Media®, an online marketing consulting agency, blerrp™, a social media influencer agency and Sexy Smile Kit™, a consumer teeth whitening brand.