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Advanced Small Business Marketing Strategy Guide

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Small Business Marketing Strategy

small business marketing strategyLast week I showed you some strategies to market your small business to local customers. This week I’m going to dive a little deeper into some advanced marketing techniques so you can dominate your local market. As a business owner your time is extremely valuable and being the head of the finance, management, marketing, advertising, and operations at your business means you must make the time you do spend on marketing really count. There are plenty of marketing tips guides out there and I assure you that some probably work while other do not. In this guide I’m covering topics that can shoot your business straight to the top in local search engines, and dominate the local customers on social media.

Here is what I will be covering today:
1. Creating A Website that Reaches Your Target Market
2. How to Implement A Local Social Media Campaign

1. Creating A Website that Reaches Your Target Market

website marketing strategyAs a local business owner the first thing you need to nail down is your target market and target consumer. If you are trying to be everything to everyone you won’t do any one thing particularly well and lose to companies with more direction and specification. Decide who you are and where you are going to help people.

After you have made that determination you need to start shaping your website to convey your business accurately to the customers you are trying to reach by creating a landing page.

The Landing Page

A landing page is basically a sales page that serves two functions. The first is to bring users onto the website and the second is to move them along to the second stage of the sales funnel on your website. This page is probably the trickiest page to create from the three i mentioned above because it needs to be friendly for search engines and for the customers. If you make the page to friendly for search engines it may deter your customers and if its to customer oriented it may not do well for within search. Here is what you need to do:

1. Find a Keyword that best represent your business and has a high search volume.
2. Build a location specific webpage around the keyword.
3. Build Links to the page from other local businesses and industry influencers.

Part 1. Finding a Quality Keyword

PPC AdvertisingThe easiest and most effective way to find a keyword is to run a mini Google Adwords or Bing Ads campaign. For the first month of the campaign use as many keywords as possible. The goal of this campaign is to find a keyword that converts the highest percentage of customers. During the second month of the campaign you want to refine your strategy to only include the keywords that brought the most traffic and the most sales to your website.

Recently, Google has added a new feature to their advertising platform that allows for much greater control by local business owners. You can now select very specific area’s of where you want your ads to run. For instance if you are in a local town in pennsylvania you can target that town specifically or you can target the county you are in.

Note: If you are unsure how to track conversions, what keywords are bringing people to your website, and which keywords are bringing the most sales you may want to consult with a Search Engine specialist. For a reasonable fee they will be able to set up Google Analytics and Google Adwords to track conversions, keywords and traffic.

Part 2. Build Local Specific Pages

Now that you have your keyword you need to build local specific pages to use the keyword to promote the page in search engines. The smaller market that you try and make the page for the easier time you will have promoting it to the number one spot on Google for your target keyword. If I was a service company that served several towns throughout 2 counties in my state I would make a page for each county and then I would also make pages for each township I wanted to serve within the two counties. Make sure you use the target keyword and the town name or county name a few times on each page. Your goal should be to use your target keyword around 1% of the total words on your page. To further assist your promotion in search engines you should use this keyword in the page title, the filename of an image you place on the page, and in at least one of the sub headings on the page. You can also use some synonyms of the keyword to further enforce to search engines that this is what your page covers.

Part 3. Building Links

After you created your page you are going to need to make a few links to the page to have it rank well. Remember the more specific you made the page (target area) the easier it will be to promote. For instance it would be hundreds of times easier to rank well for a town then a entire state. A town page may only require 1-5 links to rank well, compared to a state wide page which may require hundreds. The more competitive the industry you are in the more links you are going to need as well. Another important aspect to remember is that not all links are equal. If you are selling dog food a link from Pedigree foods is thousands of times more valuable than a link from Max’s car part outlet.

Links are probably the hardest aspect of any website. There are a few tricks you can use to find easy links though. The first is to register for directories that are specific to your type of business. Second you probably wont be able to nab links from your competition (remember highly related links carry more value) so instead look for companies in similar lines of business that would want to partner. For instance if you are a landscaping company you can partner with a homebuilder, a pool company, an electrician, and a tree removal company to share links with each other. Get creative with your relationship building and you will be able to find links in other areas as well.

Getting Customers From Social Media

social media marketing strategySocial Media can be tough on a local business owner because its hard to gain a following of targeted customers. Also many business owners are completely clueless on how to market themselves on social media and it leads to a lot of failures (no offense). You have to think about why people are on social media before you start trying to advertise to them. People visit social media sites like facebook these days to interact with their friends – this could be asking questions they need answers to or sharing funny stories or things they did throughout the say, to venting. But they also visit social media for other reasons as well. There are now many popular games on social media, people share cool information they have found and videos and images. As a business owner you can tap into peoples interests by giving people cool information, videos, and images to share with their friends. But the key here is not to make you campaign into a sales pitch. People don’t want to share sales pitches with their friends.

With social media their isn’t really any shortcut to doing well. You either take the time to make highly shareable and readable content or you don’t. This DOES NOT mean as a landscaper you need to be making cat video’s. Instead, offer up useful information you have gathered over your years of experience. You can have videos showing people how to make a fantastic home garden, how to make the criss cross lines in their yard when mowing the grass, or how to keep wees out of your garden. You can take pictures of the best house you landscaped and explain certain features so people can visualize it around their homes as well. As a master in your field you have tons of useful information you can share with the world. They key on social media is to actually share that information….not coupons for 10% off everyday.

After you have started to create some pieces of content (videos, how to guides, and blogs) you will need to start promoting them correctly. Its hard to stat a social media campaign from scratch. To grow your presence faster you can pay for advertising. as long as you have created highly useful content that is interesting for the readers your paid promotion will go over very well. For Facebook you can target customers by their interests so your ads show up in their news feeds.Again the key is to not make it look like a sales pitch but instead that you are sharing useful information.

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