An Introduction to Digital Marketing for Small Businesses
Running a small to medium-sized business takes a lot of time, effort and money. Even the most organised business owners are required to make compromises to better allocate their limited resources.
Word-of-mouth and referrals are key marketing components for many small businesses. However, adding some simple online marketing tactics can help drive more potential customers and boost online conversion rate for your business.
And the best part – many of these are free or require limited investment to implement.
We get it, you’re busy! That was the message we heard from business owners at a recent trade exhibition where we presented some online marketing solutions that could easily be put in place with limited investment and time.
The feedback was great, so we decided to share our presentation and eBook with you.
Presenting A Workshop at SpecTex 2018
SpecTex 2018 was a trade exhibition and conference hosted in Perth by the Specialised Textiles Association. The event was held on Saturday 26th May through to Monday 28th May 2018 at The Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle, Western Australia.
The show encompassed fabricators, manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and installers in the specialised textiles industry. This included businesses such as:
- Marine fabricators
- Outdoor blind fabricators & installers
- Shade sail fabricators & installers
- Specialised textiles fabricators
- And many more specialised and niche businesses
While the presentation was given to business owners in these industries, the actionable digital marketing tips that were presented can be applied to almost all small businesses.
Actionable Digital Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
During the presentation, seven online marketing tips for business owners were outlined that could be implemented even with limited knowledge of digital marketing. These included:
- Setting up a Google My Business listing
- Having a mobile responsive website
- Ensuring your website is HTTPS secured
- Creating and maintaining an online blog
- Optimising the loading speed of your website (and a quick win by optimising the images);
- Prompting and receiving more Google reviews from customers
- Using Google Analytics to gauge the online success of your business website and digital marketing efforts.
See the form below to get a copy of our ebook detailing these tips or try these digital marketing courses perfect for small business owners.
Common Questions from Small Businesses
While presenting at SpecTex 2018, owners of small to medium-sized business from across Australia sought answers to some common digital marketing questions. You may have similar questions.
Here’s what business owners at the event wanted to know:
Why does our web developer embed YouTube videos into our website rather than placing the video into our website directly?
In most cases, it is recommended that website owners use a third-party video hosting platform, embedding the video into the website via an embed code.
Hosting videos on your own website could increase the loading speed. An increase in loading speed from 1s to 5s can increase the probability of people leaving your website by 90%.
By hosting your videos on a free third-party platform such as YouTube, it reduces the negative impact on speed. It also gives you another medium to display your content online.
You mentioned transcribing videos on our website. Why is this important, where exactly would we put the transcription and would this still be required if the video has no speech?
There are a few benefits to transcribing the videos on your website. These include:
- Allowing Google to understand what is said (or being shown) in the video
- Making the video accessible to deaf or hard of hearing viewers
- Giving viewers better comprehension of what is said in the video by reading the transcription
- Allows for more accurate translation into foreign languages should you have website viewers from foreign speaking countries.
It is usually recommended that the transcription is placed in the body of text directly following the embedded video. Alternatively, the transcription could be placed at the end of your article or webpage where the video is embedded.
If your video has no speech (such as a slideshow of images), it’s still good practice to provide a summary of what is shown.
We want to start creating podcasts and uploading them to our website. Is it a good idea to transcribe podcasts as well?
Definitely. Like videos, in most cases, you should be transcribing your podcasts. The benefits provided are similar to those mentioned above.
My product suits a very niche space and my customers tell me they go scrolling through Google’s organic results to find my products rather than selecting the first few that pop up. What benefits would we receive from investing in SEO?
Firstly, it’s great to hear that your customers are providing feedback as to where they found your business online. Now that you know where your customers are coming from, it’s time to begin optimising and reaching this market in a more educated and targeted way.
Creating onsite content about your niche and answering the unique problems your target market is facing will allow you to set your business apart from your competition as a thought leader in your field.
It will also help your business to rank higher for unique long-tail keywords, helping your online traffic from organic search to become more qualified.
We run email marketing campaigns and would love to target our potential customers by using their email lists via Google AdWords. Is this possible?
If you have an email list you can import it into Google AdWords as a remarketing audience list. This allows you to create display and remarketing campaigns to target this email list. You can find more information on this process in Google Support.
One of the quick tips you mentioned regarding image optimisation was adding ‘alt text’ to our images. Why is this important?
Image alt text shows if an image on your website fails to load. It should be used to provide website visitors with a description of what the image portrays. It also gives Google a better understanding of what is shown in the image.
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Alex has a Bachelor of Commerce from Curtin University (Marketing & Advertising), while also being an accredited professional in Google Analytics and Google Ads. He also presents at local universities, small business expos and industry meetings, teaching business owners and professionals about SEO, online marketing, industry trends and SEO best practices.
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