The internet has made it easier than ever to start a business. You can promote your services and connect directly with customers around the world, and all you require is a Wi-Fi connection. For online businesses, launching isn’t the biggest challenge — staying relevant is.
Your marketing efforts shouldn’t stop once you’ve built your initial customer base. Instead, you’ll have to implement sustainable long-term growth strategies. Consistency is key to building a recognizable brand image. You’ll also need to use multiple marketing strategies to make sure you’re reaching your customers, both current and prospective. Here are five ways to sustainably grow your business online.
1. Implement a Robust SEO Strategy
In order for your customers to find you online, your website must show up in Google search results. This is where search engine optimization enters the picture. SEO is the practice of configuring your website so that it shows up higher in search results. As Google’s algorithms change, you’ll have to adjust your SEO strategy to maintain your ranking.
SEO is complex and addresses many different aspects of your website. However, it can be broken down into two main components: on-page SEO and off-page SEO. Both types of SEO work in tandem to make your site visible to Google.
On-page SEO focuses on optimizing the text, images, and internal structure of your site. You’ll need to identify search keywords to target and strategically include them in your content. On-page SEO involves using appropriate headers, alt text, title tags, and meta descriptions as well. Google values user friendliness in its rankings, so you’ll want to optimize your site for mobile and shorten load times.
Off-page SEO focuses on getting links from other websites to your website. This increases your site’s domain authority, which is a key component of Google’s ranking algorithm. There are many ways to get these external links, including guest blogging, partnering with industry leaders, and generating innovative content.
2. Use Social Media to Engage With Your Audience
According to Pew Research, over 70% of Americans use social media, making it a great place to reach potential customers. In fact, social media has become so prevalent that many businesses set up their profiles before launch to generate excitement. A strong social media presence gives you the opportunity to build an authentic connection with your audience.
The first step is to choose the correct social media platforms for your organization’s needs. When identifying which platforms to use, consider your target audience’s demographics and where they spend time online. For example, LinkedIn is typically most effective for B2B brands, while TikTok is a must for those focused on Gen Z. Keep in mind that you can cross-post content on multiple platforms for wider reach.
Once you’ve selected your platforms, the next step is to develop your content strategy. As with SEO, you’ll have to identify target keywords to focus on when planning your content. You can also supplement your organic content with paid content to increase your visibility, especially if you’re first starting out.
3. Create a Detailed Google Profile
Businesses can set up a free profile with Google to boost their search visibility, both in the search engine and in Google Maps. While this is particularly important for customer-facing businesses with a brick-and-mortar location, online businesses should have a Google Business profile as well. Google Business supports your existing SEO strategy and ensures that people searching for you find the correct contact information.
With a Google Business profile, you can share your website, business location, phone number, and hours. You can also add relevant photos of your business. Having a Google profile is an effective way to boost your brand image and appear more professional. When potential customers search for you, they will get an idea of what to expect before heading to your website.
A Google Business profile allows customers to post ratings and reviews, too. Encourage your customers to leave a Google review after they’ve done business with you. Many consumers will turn to these reviews for unbiased information when making a purchasing decision. You’ll also have the opportunity to respond to reviews publicly. This is an excellent opportunity to thank your customers and address any concerns they have.
4. Entice New Customers With Lead Magnets
Lead magnets are online perks that are given out for free in exchange for a customer’s contact information. Your business can then use their contact information for email, text message, or social media marketing. Popular examples of lead magnets include exclusive e-books, white papers, podcasts, or even discount codes.
For lead magnets to work successfully, they need to provide real value for your customers. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your lead magnet options and cater to your unique audience. You can even survey your customers directly to identify lead magnets they will benefit from.
In addition to helping you build your marketing list, lead magnets can establish your brand as an industry leader. Content assets like ebooks and white papers allow you to show off your expertise and thought leadership, which builds trust with your audience. The best lead magnets inspire recipients to share them with friends and colleagues, sending more traffic to your website.
5. Run PPC Advertising Campaigns
Pay-per-click campaigns are advertising campaigns in which you pay the distribution platform each time someone clicks on your ad. PPC campaigns are available on search engines, major social media platforms, and other websites. They’re very cost-effective because you’re only paying when your ad generates web traffic.
To set up a PPC campaign on Google, you’ll start by choosing keywords to target. Your PPC ads will show up when users search for these keywords. You can choose from many different types of Google PPC content, including search ads, display ads, placements in the shopping or video tabs, and more.
When setting up a PPC campaign on social media, you’ll choose audience segments you hope to appeal to. For example, you can target users of a specific age range, location, or gender identity. Alternatively, you can target users based on their interests and online behavior. In these ways, you’ll be pushing your ads to users who are most likely to be interested in them.
Visibility is key to growing your business online. By using multiple platforms and strategies to promote your business, you’ll boost brand awareness and web traffic. Building these marketing strategies into your daily operations will help you achieve sustainable business growth.
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