The art of SEO and lead generation for SME’s and local businesses
This article will give you some suggestions on how you can get traffic to your website and the door of your premises, if you have one.
So, a word of warning before we start, digital marketing is littered with acronyms, phrases and techno phrases (some would say mumbo jumbo – but not me).
Don’t worry about that for now, unless you intend to do all your digital marketing yourself, which I definitely don’t recommend, and I’m not just saying that because I offer these services. I’m a business person too, I don’t do everything in my business, I work on my business not in it. If I need something done, I research it, then either employ someone or outsource the work – simples. You can’t be an expert in every role you need to be successful in business, so why try?
Let’s look at the first of these strategies;
Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts.
#1 Lead Generation for SME’s
So, what’s SEO? I think most people nowadays know what SEO is, but just in case; SEO stands for search engine optimization (SEO). It’s the dark art of driving targeted online traffic to your website from search engines. At the time of writing, 60% of all traffic on the internet comes through a Google search. If you include all other mainstream search engines, such as Bing, Yahoo, YouTube and even Facebook the figure is 70.6% of all traffic to a website originates from a search engine. So if you’re not even on the internet and your competitors are, who’s business is likely to be positioned to grow quicker?
Why is SEO important for SME’s and local businesses? Well, SEO is about getting ranked highly in the search engine results pages for relevant keywords, so that you’ll receive more targeted, high-quality traffic to your website. Better yet, if your site is fully optimised for SEO, it will boost your user’s experience. More search traffic to your site along with a great user experience can increase your conversion rate.
What’s local SEO?
Local SEO marketing is the process of optimising your online presence, be it your website, its individual pages, your social media content and your online advertising – to generate traffic as a result of location-based searches. The ever increasing usage of mobile ‘on the go searching’ has made local optimization pretty much mandatory for many types of businesses, this is especially true for businesses with brick and mortar premises, where the majority of business comes from.
Dominate search engine results pages, or SERPs, and generate more local business! Today, for example, google uses over 200 data items in their algorithms including social signals, user interaction, geotags, trust, content, to name but a few. Have you really got the time to devote to maximising your SEO configuration? I thought not. We use proven local ranking factors to BOOST your organic visibility, help drive traffic to your site and ultimately increase the opportunity to grow your bottom line.
SEO vs Local SEO – who cares?
The main difference between general organic SEO and local SEO is that local SEO has a geographical component. So, if a user searches for an industry/service/product and includes the location, the search engine – whether it is Google, Bing, Yahoo or even Facebook – knows that the search has local intent. And all search engines want is to give the user exactly what they’re searching for. So a local business that has implemented local SEO specifically is certain to show up in the SERPS ahead of one that has not.
Be aware of mobile SEO
In short: the number of mobile searches is EXPLODING.
In fact, over 58% of all searches in Google are now done from a mobile device. And this trend is growing fast. According to Google, there are 27.8 billion more queries performed on mobile than desktop. Needless to say, mobile is the future of search. And that’s probably why Google is overhauling their entire algorithm to focus on mobile search. ANd, already hot on the heels of mobile search, is voice search.
#2 Website Optimization
Your website is the continuous, living and breathing touchpoint for your customer or user tribe. Therefore it’s essential to have an online strategy that aligns the needs of the users/traffic with your objectives.
We can conduct an audit on your website that will summarise how SEO and mobile friendly your website is. We’ll identify the areas of your site that need improving to increase the user experience and the amount of traffic, we’ll look at keywords, organic keywords, site speed, backlinks, even down to article content and look and feel. We’ll be able to identify what needs to be fixed and we can let you know what you can fix yourself and what needs an expert, maybe even us, needs to do to repair issues. If you’d like a comprehensive audit of your website, get in contact with us and we’ll be happy to help.
#3 – Social Media Content Creation and Scheduling
A lot of SME’s and local businesses see little if no value in spending time posting articles or pics or videos to their social media accounts. Yet these same people will spend time reading their timeline or friends and family and watching or reading their content or content they have shared.
Regularly posting to social media will tell the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc that you are an active user, interesting engaging content that is also entertaining will make visitors like and share and comment. Through geo-location more local traffic can be generated and this will increase your ranking in social media and SERPs. As a business, you should be creating and posting content every day, possibly twice a day. Ideally you should be mixing this up with various media; images, gifs, video’s text, maybe links to articles on your web page too. All this takes time as well! You’ll not be surprised to learn that here at digiDEMANDZ this particular service is one of our core services we offer to clients. If you’d like to discover more about this and our other services, then contact us here.
#4 Newsletters and scheduling
If you’re not already prioritizing email newsletters as part of your marketing mix, it’s time to consider them. Why?
What’s a newsletter? These are emails you send regularly to you engage with your audience (or list). How regularly? Well, monthly, weekly, bi-weekly, or even daily emails are a powerful way to keep in contact with your customers. Content of newsletters can vary from company-related updates to helpful tips and advice. They are a great way to boost your brand, increase client engagement, and ultimately drive more sales.
But, you can’t just send any old email, it needs to have a purpose, a strategy, definitely a call to action. You want the audience to be engaged and read the email and then take action, be it request an appointment, make an order, click on a link, drive traffic to your website, or any number of other actions.
A well thought through newsletter campaign can make a major impact on your SME or local business. The campaign is one thing, you also need to make the newsletter engaging; you might want images, video’s, competitions, give-aways.
What if you’ve absolutely nailed it with the content and no one reads it? Chances are this is because the subject line of your email isn’t. Today, subjects need to grab attention, provide information of the content, maybe even trigger curiosity, all of that in 60 characters or less (at the time of writing this is the ideal subject length).
Not only does the email need to be engaging, opened, read and ideally your customers take action (CTA), they also have to be legally compliant, you have to allow them to opt out, ideally you should integrate with your social media too.
That’s a lot to do just to send an email – right. Oh, by the way, even before you do this, you also need to have an audience, often referred to as a list.
You’ll hear many online entrepreneurs tell you the money’s in the list, that’s almost true. But certainly there’s no point having an email newsletter if you don’t have a list to mail it to, or just as bad – you have the wrong prospects / customers on your list – both equals near zero open rates and almost certainly no growth for your company.
Let me just summarise the email newsletter process in the form of a checklist;
Quite a lot to take in there don’t you think? Depending how frequent you intend sending your newsletter this can be very time consuming. We’d recommend once a month, with content rich copy and one CTA that’s targeted at your customers. We can do this for you, as this is another service many of our clients prefer to hand over to us as part of their digital marketing activities.
#5 Are you a local celebrity in your area?
Imagine you attend the local trade association or roundtable, or local networking event. You introduce yourself and someone says; “I recognise you from your videos. I watch a lot of your stuff, it’s very informative.”
Now that’s a great way to be recognised and stand out from your fellow competition, don’t you think? Now, I’m not going to kid you here, this takes time, in our experience and depending on the type of business, it can take 3 months to start to be noticed as a ‘local celebrity’.
We call it creating your local expert persona. Through a series of short video’s and the strategic promotion / posting and circulation of the videos, over time the videos will show in SERPs in local search results.
This particular service, is our premium service and takes more time and focussed effort to grow your traffic and increase rankings, but over time it’s proven to add significant traffic to your business and help grow your customer base.
So there you have it, as an SME and local business, just some of the online tasks you can do to make your business stand out from the competition and to increase traffic to your business. We at digiDEMANDZ will help drive targeted traffic to your website, get started now by arranging for a short qualification call between us.
Our initial call will be between 15 and 30 minutes. This is when we begin working to figure out exactly what you need, and how we can help you to grow your business.
Assuming we both see the value in working together, we’ll talk and see if we are able to take you on as a client. If, for any reason, you don’t want to move forward, that’s okay too.
Worst case you would have received some free advice from our team which will help you start generate more traffic and sales.
So, don’t use your valuable time learning or trying to do your own local SEO or LinkedIn lead generation, let the experts help you.
Contact us to learn more about how we can help you and get your business to scale up and grow.