Steve Strauss Headshot New.pngIn an age when most of us spend a little too much time on screens (guilty as charged!), it is no wonder that small businesses seem to have finally read the memo that marketing today equals digital. 

 

That said, for some business owners, digital marketing remains a bit of a challenge. However, even though digital technology tends to feel like a very specialized skill, the good news is that that is only a façade. It really is not that difficult. It just takes a plan and some time.


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All of this begs the question: What works? Here is our list of the four most important digital marketing techniques:

 

1. Website: Yes, you must have a great website for your business. Period.

 

OK, with that out of the way, the next most important factor is that this is a place to not skimp - to do it right, and create something that is special and compelling. Your website is that important. It is the main portal where people find you today. Yours must therefore be clean, attractive, functional, easy-to-use, intuitive and informative. If a website looks cheap, the business looks cheap.

 

And don’t try to tackle this one yourself. Hire a designer, or find a reputable online point-and-click website design partner.

 

Additionally, and just as importantly, be sure that your website is mobile friendly. More and more people are accessing the Internet through their handheld devices:

 

  • Half of all searches are now done on a mobile device
  • According to Google, 61 percent of users will not return to a website that doesn’t load properly on their mobile device, and
  • 40 percent of those users will surf on over to a competitor’s website.

 

Digital marketing today means having a great, fast, mobile-optimized website.

 

RELATED ARTICLE: MOBILE MARKETING MADE EASY

 

2. SEO/Pay-Per-Click: Most consumers will begin online with a simple search (48 percent of users, in fact.) What this means is that you must invest a little time and money in your search engine optimization (SEO).  This means that you need to make sure that your website shows up in search engine inquiries by:

 

  • Creating specific pages that you want found
  • Including keywords in your website’s title pages and content
  • Using a good SEO plugin to analyze your pages and site

 

If you’re OK with spending some money, you should also consider pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. These are the ads that appear at the top and bottom of search engine results.

 

43380028_s.jpgEven if you don’t get organic SEO Page 1 Google rankings, with PPC you can buy your way there. How amazing is that?

 

The beauty of pay-per-click, as the name suggests, is that you only have to pay when a user clicks on your ad. This is perhaps one of the most important things you can do to increase website traffic, and ultimately increase revenue.

 

Google has a great SEO guide here.

 

3. Content marketing: Content creation is a powerful way to attract people to your website and social sites. Content creation can include anything from blog posts, to YouTube videos, email newsletters, and so on. The wider the array, the better the exposure.

 

The key is to create great content and have some of it link back to your site. Voila! Content marketing made simple.

 

4. Social media: Developing a robust social media presence is, as you know, one of the most important ways for you to communicate with your customers and spread your brand digitally. It is also a powerful way to keep current customers engaged, reach out to new ones, collect feedback, advertise events, and more. 

 

Additionally, if you are trying to connect your business with Millennials, then social media will be even more important – 81 percent of Millennials go on Twitter at least once a day, for example.

 

Can’t or don’t want to do all of this posting and clicking and blogging and tweeting yourself? No problem.

 

Hire a Millennial to do it for you.

 

About Steve Strauss

Steven D. Strauss is one of the world's leading experts on small business and is a lawyer, writer, and speaker. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. He is the best-selling author of 17 books, including his latest, The Small Business Bible, now out in a completely updated third edition. You can also listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business SuccessSteven D. Strauss.

 

Web: www.theselfemployed.com or Twitter: @SteveStrauss

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Bank of America, N.A. engages with Steve Strauss to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Steve Strauss is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Steve Strauss. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

 

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