Last updated: February 22nd, 2019
Small business digital marketing involves the use of many different tactics for the purpose of encouraging productive and mutually beneficial interactions and relationships. As a marketing company for small businesses, SimplySearch Marketing is always looking for ways to provide marketing help for small businesses wishing to improve their return on investment with their marketing efforts.
Understandably, your main focus is likely to be on actually running your business. This means you may not be effectively levering digital technologies, such as email, content marketing, social media, and mobile marketing.
Whether you are primarily marketing a small business locally or planning to branch out into new markets, there’s always room for improvement. To get a better idea if you are on the right track with your strategy we’ve put together a small business marketing checklist for you:
1. Website Design
The heart of any small business digital marketing strategy is a well-designed website. After all, this is where most online traffic ends up at some point.
Yet half of all small business owners are not online. If you’re in this camp, continue reading this small business marketing checklist to see how having a website could positively impact other aspects of your digital strategy.
As for expense, you don’t need to spend a small fortune to have a website that works for your business. In fact, it’s entirely possible to have a basic, budget-friendly site that’s well-designed, properly optimized, and a reliable source of leads and conversions.
An “effective website” is one that reflects your brand. It should echo your brand’s overall message and enhance your image. A small business website is more likely to inspire conversions if it is:
• Easy to navigate
• Filled with content that’s easy to digest with descriptive headlines and subheads, short paragraphs, bullet or numeric lists, and a mix of text and complementary images
• Responsively designed (viewable on all screens)
• Able to load quickly (anything longer than 5 seconds is too slow)
2. Mobile Friendliness
In 2018, Google fully rolled out its mobile-first policy. This means Google will first consider how a website appears on a mobile device when assessing it for ranking purposes.
Presenting content in a way that’s appealing to mobile users is also important because this is how most people look for information these days. Content that’s mobile-friendly typically includes:
• Short headlines
• Mobile-friendly reading patterns (most attention on mobile pages is at the center and top half of the screen)
• Multiple calls-to-action (mobile users don’t always automatically scroll to the bottom)
3. An Active Blog
Your brand isn’t only defined by your website. Consumers today also expect businesses to offer more useful and insightful information other than sales pitches.
Since a website doesn’t leave a lot of room for non-salesy content, a blog is a good way to distribute this type of content. Well-crafted blog content can also be a smart, cost-effective way to boost brand credibility.
4. The Right Social Platforms
A complete small business marketing checklist should include, at least, a few social media platforms. While many businesses opt for Facebook and Twitter, you don’t have to limit yourself to these two platforms.
Ideally, you want to choose social platforms that are likely to be used by the majority of your customers. If you have a highly visual brand, for instance, you may benefit from content distributed via platforms like Pinterest and Instagram.
Your digital marketing goals also play a role in what platform makes sense for you. If brand visibility is your goal, for example, a comprehensive Facebook strategy could be good for your business since this particular network has a broader range of users.
Building your social media marketing strategy is an important step in the right direction. Pick and choose which platform you want to focus on carefully and remember, consistency is the key to success.
5. Local SEO
Marketing a small business locally is important because many smaller businesses target specific geographic areas. To do this effectively, local SEO has to be part of the game plan.
Google estimates that more than half of all searches have local intent. Plus, most people who conduct a local search end up visiting the business they found online in person within a day.
A big part of local SEO includes content optimized to include references to your target geographic location. Local search engine optimization also involves:
• Clear online directions (most local searchers look for directions to area businesses online)
• Accurate NAP (business name, address, phone number) info
• An optimized Google My Business listing (increase your odds of landing in Google’s local 3-pack)
• Encouraging online reviews (most local searchers make decisions based on reviews)
6. Social Sharing
Social media share buttons on your website can encourage visitors to check out what you have to offer socially. This is one way you can make social sharing work for your local business.
In general, social media engagement is good for your small business marketing efforts because it’s a more interactive form of engagement. There are also many creative ways to use social media to quickly distribute alerts about things like upcoming specials or newly available items.
7. Relevant Content
Relevant and consistent content is what can keep customers interested in what your local business has to offer. It’s also what defines your brand, inspires interactions, and establishes your business as a trusted and reliable source of information.
In order to make content work for your business, it has to be distributed on a regular basis across multiple contact points (e.g., your website, social media pages, blog, paid ads, organic search results, etc.). Manage your small business content effectively by:
• Creating a content calendar to outline and schedule the content you present throughout each month
• Using your social media platform to generate interest in your content
• Creatively repurposing your content (e.g., long blog posts or in-depth articles repurposed as e-books or newsletter content)
8. Email Marketing
Communicate with your customers on a regular basis by including email marketing as part of your small business marketing strategy. Studies show that email is one of most effective ways to deliver messages today, especially since it’s easy to regularly check inboxes via various mobile devices.
Avoid the temptation to buy email mailing lists. Instead, use customer information and build an email list that’s more personalized to your customer base. Small businesses can wisely use email for marketing purposes by:
• Encouraging sign-ups for email newsletters
• Sending out follow-up emails to build customer loyalty and encourage repeat business
• Segmenting email marketing lists to send out offers based on previous shopping habits
9. Search Engine Optimization
SEO isn’t about what you do to attract the attention of local searchers. If the content you create isn’t optimized for search engines, it’s not going to attract the attention of your intended customers.
If you are new to SEO, take a moment to brush up on SEO basics. Then get started by:
• Choosing appropriate keywords to naturally incorporate throughout your content
• Accumulating backlinks from relevant, trusted sources
• Using unique meta descriptions for each website landing page
• Covering your technical SEO bases to make it easier for search engines to figure out your website
10. Key Metrics
You’re not going to be cross anything off of this checklist if you’re not keeping track of your stats. Use tools like Google Analytics and Google’s Search Console to review your key metrics. Pay particular attention to:
• Total website visits
• Where your online traffic is coming from
• Customer retention rates
• Lead to close ratios
• Return on investment
Are you finding things you need to work on after reviewing this small business marketing checklist? SimplySearch Marketing is a trusted source for marketing help for small businesses.
As a marketing company for small businesses, we have a knack for knowing how to separate what’s working from what’s not in a way that’s likely to be good for your bottom line. Contact us today to start seeing results that matter most for your small business.
We’ve added a Small Business Marketing Checklist Infographic! Check it out and feel free to grab the embed code!