Through strategic outreach programmes and carefully tailored content, small businesses can begin to make their online presence felt and climb up the search engine rankings in a process known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Search marketing enables you to optimise your website to attract the your target audience. As many as 59% of small businesses predict that over a quarter of their revenue will be generated online in the next five years, making search marketing is increasingly important.
But diving in at the deep end and expecting to float is never a good way to begin any venture. Digital marketing experts take years to master and perfect their craft, learning exactly which keywords to target and focus on at any given time.
Let’s take a look behind the scenes at the way well-planned search marketing strategies can help small businesses reach the right consumers online.
Reaching the Top of Google: Search Marketing Strategies
Tip #1: Research Target Keywords
Web marketing hinges on identifying and understanding your customer base. Before you keyword optimise your website content or bid on keywords for paid ads, you’ll want to ensure you know everything there is to know about your consumer’s most-used search queries. Remember that the words and phrases you use in your industry may not be the same as the words and phrases that potential customers type into Google.
Take an online tech supplier as an example. They want to reach out to consumers interested in ‘audio visual solutions’ or ‘cctv installations’. By conducting keyword research, they can identify and target the variations of these phrases that search engine users input the most and the competition for these keywords.
Tip #2: SEO Optimise Your Website Content
In order to improve your search engine rankings and drive traffic to your website, you need to SEO optimise your website content. Well-written and engaging web content that includes your targeted keywords for each webpage and is properly formatted will support your website in ranking higher on search engines for those search queries.
You may also want to write on-site blogs that optimise keywords and provide visitors with fresh content to read each month. Every word counts and the more time you invest in your content, the more likely you are to rank well for those keywords and the more time consumers will invest in learning about the services your company can offer.
Tip #3: Make Your Website User-Friendly
User experience affect search rankings. Search engines want to show webpages that satisfy their searchers. A clunky, difficult to navigate or downright ugly website will cause searchers to bounce off your website and that signals to search engines that the website isn’t what they were looking for.
A well-designed website with simple navigation, well-presented and visual pages, engaging content, relevant internal and external links, strong calls-to-actions and on-site lead generation material, will support website rankings, keep users on the website and convert leads to sales.
It’s also important to have a mobile responsive website. Over 50% of internet searches are via mobile or tablet. Search engines will prioritise mobile-friendliness when displaying search results on mobile devices. If your website isn’t optimised for mobile, this will have a negative effect on its ability to rank well for mobile searches.
Tip #4: Get Started with Search Engine Marketing Research
Search Engine Marketing is the process of buying advertising space on search engines such as Google and Bing, in order to drive traffic to your site. Of course, it’s not a simple case of out-buying your competitors. The whole purpose of SEM is to be seen by the right customers, so you don’t want your ads to be popping up in unrelated searches.
All digital marketing experts will tell you that your main aim in any SEM campaign is to land ads on high ranking SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). In other words, the higher the page number your ad ranks on, the more eyeballs you will have on your product or service. You want these ads placed on search results for target keywords that your customers would be searching for.
Tip #5: Develop an SEO Link-Building Strategy
A link building strategy supports your website ranking through gaining backlinks within external content, such as directory listings, blog posts and news article. When it comes to SEO link building strategies, your first port of call is to decide where your links will receive the most exposure.
For example, if your company supplies sports equipment for schools, you will want to create a digital outreach campaign that targets the education sector, including education-focused websites or blogs about sports and outdoor play for kids.
Search marketing is all about convincing a search engine that you are the most trustworthy, authoritative business in the market. To do this, you need to ensure that the sites you’re linking from are all high authority and free from spam. As long as you are writing reputable content for reputable publications, Google will soon sit up and take notice.