Every small business owner knows that marketing and advertising is an expensive yet necessary evil. No business can expect to grow their consumer base without putting a little hard earned cash back into their marketing department. But you don’t have to overspend in order to market your business effectively. There are a variety of different, inexpensive ways to market your business online. Online marketing tools come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and here are a few affordable options outlined for your benefit.
- Local SEO Tools. SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization. This simply means increasing your chances of appearing higher on the search results page, should someone google key words associated with your business. There are a number of tools available online that can help you with your SEO. And the good news is that some of them are free. Google Alerts is free and is a great way for you to track anything that is written about your brand name or business name online. While Rank Tracker (also free) helps you track your ranking on the various search results pages.
- Welcome to the Blogosphere. Having a blog as well as a regular website is a really effective way to keep the consumer up-to-date with the happenings of your business. You could offer special deals and promotions and provide additional content such as video footage and photos of your services and products. Including keywords is a must as this will help Google and other search engines associate specific words with your business. Be sure to use tags and hyperlinks to generate more traffic to your blog and website too. Labeling and naming photos and videos is a must as all of this data is collected by Google and subtly affects your search results ranking for the long haul.
- Utilize Social Media. Do yourself a favor and sign up for as many social media sites as possible. There are a number of them out there and each provide their own unique pros and cons. Twitter is a great way to communicate in small, manageable portions, while Facebook allows you to build an in-depth profile for more elaborate posting. Instagram is becoming increasingly popular as a purely visual outlet. All of these platforms can be linked together to create a cohesive online social media presence. Harnessing the power of social media can be a real asset when it comes to building your local and online community.
- Start a YouTube Account. Having a YouTube account is absolutely free and can be a great way to generate traffic to your various web pages. In order to not get lost in the sea of content, be sure to get creative with your video making. Offer “how to’s” or “behind the scenes” exclusives that help give personality to your small business. Videos and photos tend to go viral more than regular text-based content, so make sure everything is labeled, named and tagged appropriately so that Google can locate it.