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Make Your Small Business Easily Found Online

Make Your Small Business Easily Found Online

By bridgetwpollack, Guest Blogger
Published: April 9, 2014

If you’re looking to ramp up your business’s online presence and help your potential customers find you more easily, you may have considered a variety of web advertising options: banner ads, social media ads, pay-per-click sponsor ads, SEO, SEM, etc. What’s the most effective route to take? What’s the least costly?

The new infographic, Online Advertising: Go for the Right Audience and You'll See Real Results, compiled research on the effectiveness of various types of online advertising options for small business owners. It found that one-third of small and mid-sized businesses buy online advertising, spending an average of $6,800 annually. Some interesting findings to note in your own online advertising pursuits:

  • A typical person sees 1,700 banner ads per month, but clicks just 0.1% of the time.
  • 3% of small business owners think that pay-per-click ads are effective.
  • 77% of ads are never seen.
  • Investment in social media ads has increased from $3.8 billion in 2011 to $5.9 billion in 2013. This amount is projected to increase to $9.8 billion in 2016.

Check out the infographic for the full story on how small businesses like yours are taking advantage of online advertising and to see how Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn compare in terms of click-thru rates and ROI.

Pay for Traffic or Get it Free?

Given those survey results, you might be wondering if paid ads are worth the financial investment. SCORE mentor and owner of A&E Advertising and Web Design, Edison Guzman, answers exactly that question in the (appropriately titled) online workshop, “Pay for Traffic or Get it Free? (The Difference Between SEM and SEO).” Edison says the key to choosing the right strategy is: “before starting any campaign, you need to know the result.” What type of online presence are you looking to promote? Who and where is your target audience? How much are you willing to spend? Who will implement this strategy? These questions will help you determine the right approach for achieving your goals.

Listen in to this online workshop to find out:

  • The tools needed to get the most out of your time and investment in online advertising
  • The difference between on-page SEO and off-page SEO and how to maximize both
  • The 7 parts of your website that tell search engines how to rank you
  • How social media plays a role in your search engine ranking
  • And… the only guaranteed way to rank on Page 1 of search engine results in less than 1 day

Make Content Work for You

You’ve certainly heard that content marketing is the next big thing for positioning yourself as the go-to resource in your industry. But it’s also an absolutely critical (and often free) way to get your business better known to the search engines. In his 4 part series, How to Win the New Game of Semantic Search, Bill Merrow, co-founder of Synergy Sales and Marketing, covers everything you need to know to get search engines to authenticate your website and, ultimately, bring you more and better visitors. Bill says “In September 2013, Google’s Hummingbird update rocked the world of every business concerned with search marketing, as simple keyword strategies were detonated and Google stopped reporting keywords in Google Analytics.” Therefore, he explains, content marketing is a necessary tactic for effective SEO. In the series, Bill details the 4 components to properly implementing an effective content strategy: volume, velocity, variety and veracity.

The more you know about effective online advertising, the more you realize what a powerful tool it can be for bringing potential customers in the virtual door. It doesn’t have to be costly but it can require a time investment to learn the tools at your disposal and decide what works best for reaching your target audience. If you’re not sure who that is or how to reach them, reach out to a SCORE mentor for free, expert help.

About the Author:

Bridget Weston Pollack

Guest Blogger

Bridget Weston Pollack is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the SCORE Association. She is responsible for all branding, marketing, PR, and communication efforts. She focuses on implementing marketing plans and strategies to facilitate the growth of SCORE’s mentoring and trainings services. She collaborates with SCORE volunteers and develops SCORE’s online marketing strategy.