7 Ways Small Businesses Can Compete With Their Bigger Competitors Online
June 27, 2013
If there’s one thing the internet has done for small businesses its level the playing field a bit. Online marketing isn’t always reliant on how big your marketing budget is, instead, it comes down to what you do with it.
Online marketing is one of the most affordable marketing techniques available. For the one-time cost of a website and some optimization services, companies of any size can get their name out there and start attracting customers. It’s much less expensive than traditional marketing techniques, has a far greater reach and can be quickly and easily adjusted to meet changing business needs or customer demands.
With the right approach, smaller companies can sneak up on their competitors by carving out a niche and creating their own customer base.
Here are 5 ways small businesses can give their big business competitors a run for their money:
- Create a Well-Designed Website. The first component of your online marketing strategy involves creating an intuitive, well-designed website that is easy, accessible and visually appealing for customers to use. Pave their way around the site, removing every obstacle that might come between them and the service you can provide for them. You want the actions to be seamless and functional. In addition, your content should be structured in such a way that is easy for the customer to quickly skim through and find what he or she is looking for.
- Localize and Develop Your Online Presence. Do your research, consult your analytics and find out where your customer base is coming from to develop your marketing strategy accordingly. Make sure to target your efforts in your highest traffic areas. The Dimensions tab in AdWords will help you in identifying your most successful geographic areas.
A basic but essential part of being picked up by search engines is to publish your company’s name and address together consistently. Make sure to clearly display your contact information on your website as well as on as many credible online directories you can find. This information helps search engines pull local results for internet users. GetListed.org is an example of a good place to get started, but there are hundreds of other directories for you to list your business and increase your visibility.
- Give Your Customers What They Really Want. If you sell products, make sure there is an ecommerce function on the site instead of redirecting potential clients somewhere else and ruining their user experience. If you provide a service, include further information or “How-To’s” or tutorials that customers might find useful. Make it easy for your potential customers to contact you for additional information so that they can hire your services or purchase your products. By knowing and understanding your customers’ needs you will be able to provide them with the right solutions quickly and efficiently. Make sure to stress that every comment or feedback will be addressed within a specific time frame and stick to it. Their feedback will help you improve and a proper response from your end gains you trust and reputation.
- Understand Your Customers Vocabulary. . This is a crucial part that helps you understand how customers find your site: Are they searching for your business name? Are they searching for certain products or services? In short, this is how you learn what keywords and phrases are being used to find your site. Incorporate those words into your web pages. Be sure to include the locations, cities, etc. you are targeting (as mentioned in #1 above) as part of your keyword phrase to gain local attention. Keywords are essential for your online success. The keywords you choose to target will affect your search engine rankings, affecting how new customers will find you and will eventually impact your business growth. Do not take this part of your online marketing campaign lightly.
- Post Content That Gets Noticed. Another way to get noticed and increase your search engine rankings is to create interesting and useful content about your niche, as opposed to posting a sentence on Facebook with a link to your site. To create buzz around your site and generate traffic and potential clientele, you need to create good content or useful information that, on the one hand reflects on your expertise and on the other that people would want to read and share with others. Post this content in various locations: Your website, niche blogs, guest blog spots, social media accounts, etc., and askfor the reader’s interaction and feedback. The more people use and share your information, the more search engines will start to notice your business and the better chance you have of achieving a higher search engine rankings. Don’t forget to have social share buttons on every posts to maximize your exposure.
- Maximize Your Potential and Generate Sales with Social Media. Social media for businesses today is far beyond posts with links, it has now become a standalone marketing channel that your business can no longer afford to live without. This is a great opportunity to increase your revenue significantly simply by highlighting the best features of your business and spreading the word. Think about what makes your business unique and take a comprehensive and creative approach to social media. If you don’t know how and where to start we’re happy to give you an example, but you can also have this work done for you by a professional. No matter how small your small business is, it can have a great impact. We are happy to offer you a short yet creative guide on how to get started with social media to maximize your profits
- Study Your Competition to Outrank it. Know who the biggest players in your niche are and learn everything there is to know about their online presence: Where are they getting exposure from? Do they have a consistent marketing strategy? What do they have that you don’t and how can you offer it to your customers? What do you have that they don’t and how to properly highlight it to get the customers that they are not getting and much more. The deeper the analysis of your competitors’ online marketing strategy is, the better are your odds to develop a strategy of your own to outrank them, or at least to increase your rankings and customer base significantly. This can be as easy as looking up their mentions on Google, or a more in-depth look via one of the various backlink research tools to study each and every link they get.
To summarize, it doesn’t matter how big or reputable your competitors are, the search results are an open playing field where every site has the possibility to succeed. It’s up to you to think outside the box and give customers new, exciting and accessible opportunities and earn your own clientele just by being unique and knowing how to communicate it
The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of Revolution Flyers, Inc.
This entry was posted on Thursday, June 27th, 2013 at 6:20 am and is filed under Free Business Tools . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.