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Ten Quick and Easy Online Marketing Ideas For SMEs

When you run an SME, quite often you can find yourself strapped for resources and time. After juggling being the founder, accountant, marketer and sales rep for your business it’s no wonder that sometimes things to fall into the cracks. That’s why you need to adopt strategies for your business that not only work but are efficient on time too. We know it’s not always easy coming up with new online marketing ideas that are not only quick and easy to execute but also provide a positive return on investment. That’s why we’ve created a list of our top ten quick and easy marketing ideas specifically designed for SMEs. All of them take a matter of minutes to carry out, require very little digital marketing knowledge and can help you reach those extra customers you’ve been looking for. 

1. Research your successful keywords

You’re probably already ranking well for a handful of keywords, so why not start off by giving yourself a little confidence boost? All you have to do is sign up to activate Google’s search console. Then it’s simply explained step-by-step within the tool itself.

2. Dig into your not so successful keywords

Now that you’ve seen what you’ve done well – take a look at where you can improve. You can use Google’s search console for this as well. Start with the keywords where you are ranking anywhere between 11 and 25 then see if you can improve on your ranking. Do this by adding new content around these keywords or optimising meta-data.

3. Run your website through a speed test

Search engines use the speed of your website as a determining ranking factor. Why not see how your website’s doing? Run your homepage URL through Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. Not only will this tell you how fast your website is – it will also tell you what you can do to improve your website’s speed.

4. Create a subscribe or sign-up landing page

Have a mailing list? Make sure to create a dedicated landing page where users can sign up simply and easily. Add it to a prominent space in your navigation bar for optimum exposure.

5. Check out your back links

Backlinks are another determining factor when it comes to how search engines rank your website. The more reputable website that link to your website the better. You can check out your own metrics on Moz.

6. Clean up your own links

When you have links on your website that don’t link to anything search engines will rank you down. Do yourself a favour and crawl your website for broken links. You can use tools for this like Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider. You can download a free version. Once you’ve identified these links either update them with new links or remove them.

7. Try business listings

We wrote a whole article about local business listings and whether they can work for your business or not. Check that out first and then decide to add your SME to Google, Bing, Yelp and more.

8. Create a blog

This one’s pretty obvious and one of the most fun. Create a blog on your website where you answer common problems some of your customers may have. Not only is this helpful – but you could also capture some new customers who are searching for solutions to these common problems online. They get their answer and you get more traffic.

9. Use multimedia

Social media platforms that use video and becoming more and more popular by the day. Think about YouTube, TikTok and IG TV. Try your hand at some of these channels by making a video telling your SMEs story. It’s guaranteed to garner some attention.

10. Research, research, research

Probably not one of the quickest on our list but you can never go wrong with a bit of research. We even created a list of some of our favourite digital marketing resources to learn from. Happy reading!

That pretty much sums up our simplest and easiest online marketing ideas for SMEs. However, of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should utilise and market your business is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any website or online marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us right here on our website. Until then, happy marketing!

SEO Is Changing: How Your SME Can Stay On Top

SEO is one of the many aspects of digital marketing that is forever changing. Technology giants like Google are always updating their algorithms to provide search users with the best possible experience. However, whilst these changes can help deliver an excellent user experience, they can also dramatically impact the traffic to your website. Fail to adhere to the new SEO rules and you could see your website drop in organic rankings. Once you’ve slipped down past the top five results, you’ll see less traffic, less conversions and even less business. But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. There are a few simple ways that you can ensure you’re never behind the SEO algorithms again. 

Get the basics right

First of all – the basics of SEO haven’t changed in a while. So if you spend the time getting all of your keywords, meta-data and content sorted out now you should stand a fighting chance against the algorithms. 

Stay notified

You can set up alerts with search engine providers like Google, Bing and Yahoo to let you know when a change has been made to their algorithms. They are usually pretty open about their updates. After all they still want to show your website in their search results – they just want to ensure that it is for the right search terms. 

Get reading

As well as getting notifications from the search providers themselves, you can also subscribe to some digital marketing blogs. There are quite a few out there that not only write about the algorithm updates, they can also tell you how to comply with the new rules or even give you the heads up before an update has come into play. If you don’t know where to start, check out some of our personal favourites

Act quickly

Updates happen as soon as they’re announced so it is always best to act quickly. As soon as you understand what you need to do to appease a new SEO update – do it. This will then stop search engines from penalising you if you haven’t complied. 

Hire a professional

We understand that all of this can be time consuming, particularly if you’re an SME with little resources to spare. However, there is always an alternative to doing it yourself – hire an SEO professional. Whilst this can be more expensive, it does ensure that your website is always up to date with the latest SEO practices and is in the best possible shape it can be for search engines. 

That pretty much sums up our easy-peasy ways your SME can stay on top of SEO changes. However, of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should utilise and market your business is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any website or online marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us right here on our website. Until then, happy marketing!

Five Ways To Make Your Small Business Stand Out Online

The world wide web has opened the door to so many opportunities for small businesses. However, whilst this means you can reach more potential customers – it means your competition can too. Thanks to the internet, you’ve probably discovered that there is actually more competition out there than you first thought. Although this can be daunting there are still ways your small business can stand out online.

Tell your story – and bring this to life on your website

Whilst it can be tempting to compare yourself to your competitors – don’t. Instead focus on why you started your small business in the first place. What’s your story? Because, although people may sell the same products or services as you they definitely don’t have the same story as you. To illustrate this and your passion for what you do, create an “about” section on your website and remember to include all the unique details about how your business came to be. Once that’s done, add a button or strip to your homepage where you outline the three key values your business holds. This way you can establish what makes you different from the beginning and not just lose it in the navigation bar.

Make your website more human

Nobody wants to spend their hard-earned cash on a business that treats them like a number. Therefore, it’s important that your website and online marketing are made for humans – not exclusively for SEO rankings. Firstly what you want to do is make your website as easy to use as possible. To do this you need to create the best user experience you can. You can either hire an user experience specialist agency  or you can try to do it yourself. Luckily, if you’re looking to do a bit of website DIY we have a vast amount of articles all about user experience

Proactively acknowledge and solve common customer problems

One of the best ways you can attract potential customers and lure them away from your competition is to help them. Before someone sets their sights on purchasing your products or services they will more than likely do some research online. One way they may do this is type some questions into search engines regarding any concerns they may have. You can find out what some of these questions are if you use Google’s search console tool or their keyword planner. Once you’ve discovered what some of these common pain points may be – address them in a blog post and tell your audience how they can overcome or answer these problems. Not only will this show that you are readily addressing issues before being asked directly – it could also help you convert your competitors customers to yours.

Create a memorable experience

This sort of ties in with the previous point – however it’s more about surprising your audience with an interaction that is not only personal but memorable. It may sound complicated but creating a memorable customer experience can actually be pretty simple. If you’re selling a service, it is likely that potential customers will have to contact you first – make this as easy as possible for them. You can do this by adding a online chat widget to your website or creating a intuitive contact form pop-up. However don’t stop there. Make sure you deal with inquiries quickly and accurately. It may sound obvious but replying to a inquiry personally rather than using an automated service already makes the interaction more memorable. Just make sure you address the customer personally and directly answer their questions. In short – you just need to deliver an enjoyable customer service.

Don’t try so hard to be “quirky” “innovative” or “weird”

One of the most common and frankly, annoying trends with small businesses at the moment is the fact that they point out how different and quirky they are – all the time. Whilst this is a relevant claim to make if you have completely re-invented the wheel, it is more than likely that you don’t have a unique product or service as such. Therefore by banging on about how innovative or different you are, you actually become just like all of the other small businesses claiming the same thing. So, drop the “quirky-ness” and aim for being real.

That pretty much sums up our top five ways to stand out as a small business online. However, of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should utilise and market your business is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any website or online marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us right here on our website. Until then, happy marketing!

The Beginners Digital Marketing Checklist For SMEs

Getting into digital marketing is not easy feat, especially if you are a small business that doesn’t have enough resources to dedicate to it. However, digital marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact there are a few simple tasks that you can complete to give your business that online boost it needs. That’s why we’ve put together the beginners digital marketing checklist for SMEs.

Keywords

Keywords should be the first item on top of any aspiring digital marketeers checklist. There are many different ways you can implement keywords into your digital marketing strategy. However because this is a beginner’s checklist, we’re just going to run through the basics. First of all, you need to think like a potential customer. What are the sorts of words and phrases potential customers would type into search engines to find your business? If you’re not sure ask a friend or family member who isn’t directly involved in your business to help. You’ll find that people who are not working within your industry will often use words you wouldn’t. Once you have a list of words go to Google’s keyword planner. Here you’ll be able to type in your keywords and see how often they are searched for monthly as well as how hard they are to rank highly for. The aim of the game here is to get your website to rank high in search engine results. So make sure you pick and use keywords that have a decent search volume but aren’t swamped with competition.

Content

This is where you can put that long list of keywords you got from above to work. To rank high in search engines for your chosen keywords, search engines must be able to see that your page is helpful and relevant when it comes to said keywords and the topics they imply. To do this you need to sprinkle your keywords throughout your page content in visible copy. However, you cannot just spam one or two pages with all the keywords. The keyword must fit in with your content organically, make sense and be laid out in a user friendly way with the use of paragraphs, headings and subheadings. Make sure every page of your website contains some valuable content that contains the keywords you want to rank for.

Another good way for you to use your keywords through content is by adding a blog section to your website. Writing blog articles will allow you to focus on one keyword at a time whilst continuously updating your website. This is extra helpful as search engines not only like to see keywords scattered throughout your website, they also like it when the website is frequently updated. The more frequently you update your blog, the more time-relevant your website will be to search engine, which in turn will help boost your search rankings.

Social media

Whilst social media isn’t really a direct lead generating tool, it is ideal for brand awareness. If you’re a complete beginner to the digital marketing game then social media is a great place to start to improve this amongst your potential customers. It’s more than likely that you already have your own personal social media accounts. So without even realising it, you’re already doing your own social media marketing for yourself.  The only difference is you now have to do it for your business.

Creating a social presence for your SME is a little more complicated then running your own social media accounts. First of all you have to think about which social platform is best for your business. After all, it’s always better to focus and be successful on one social platform than to spread yourself too thin and do all of them badly. Once you’ve decided on that you need to come up with some creative content that your audience will love and engage with.

Links

Links can get complicated, however we’re going to break it down into easy and informative chunks. So, the goal here is to get as many reputable and relevant websites to link back to your website as possible. But why? Well, when search engines can see your website being linked to by other trustworthy businesses online it makes your business seem trustworthy too. Think of links as the digital equivalent of somebody recommending your business to their friends and family. The more links you get, the more trustworthy, helpful and legitimate your business seems.

However, don’t just try and get links on any old website and never pay for links. The whole point of links is that they string together relevant websites that are within the same niche, or are at least talking about one another for some reason. Posting your link everywhere and anywhere will only result in search engines recognising your link and website as spam. Think of spam as somebody really shady bugging you about a kind of dodgy service they are offering. Not cool.

So that’s our beginners digital marketing checklist specifically for SMEs. However, of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should utilise and market your business is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any social media marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!

GDPR And Why Your SME Should Care About It

We know we’ve already posted a few articles about buzzwords lately, so today we want to talk about a big one – GDPR. Now, while GDPR isn’t actually a buzzword, we think it’s too important to not talk about here on our blog. If you’re a regular digital marketing whizz, or just read a few industry blogs here and there you would have probably seen an array of articles about GDPR. GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation, which is basically a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union. However, whilst the regulation was established two years ago, it doesn’t actually become enforceable until later this month.

What is GDPR?

As we said before GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. The regulation was put in place to replace the old 1995 Data Protection Directive to change the way companies and individuals can create, use, share and store information. This information can be anything from personal details to business addresses. Not only will this apply to data control in the EU it will also apply to any data being shared from the EU to other regions.

How can I adhere to the regulations?

One of the best things you can do is ensure that you’re correctly informed about GDPR and how the regulation is going to be put into action in your residing country. As the regulation is spanning across the entire EU it is up to individual countries to decide how GDPR will be put in place. Another, important point to remember is that you also need to ensure you are complying with the country’s GDPR rules that your customers or contacts reside in. If you’re unclear about how different countries will treat the new regulation take a look at the official GDPR website.

The general rule of thumb when it comes to GDPR is to ensure that you are transparent with your customers, clients and audiences about how you are using their data. Always make sure that when they willingly provide you with contact details or other personal data, you tell them exactly how it will be stored and what you will use it for. Additionally, always give them the option to opt-out of having their information stored as and when they want to. Then, once you’ve received an opt-out request, make sure you remove their data from your systems straight away and let them know personally.

When do these regulations come into affect?

The official date in which GDPR will come into affect is the 25th of May 2018.

Why should I care?

In short, if you don’t comply with the new GDPR regulations when they come into effect at the end of May then you and your company are breaking the law. Consequently, if you are caught breaking this law you, your business could be subject to large fines. Additionally by complying with the new regulation your customers and potential customers can see that you care about them and their privacy. By being more transparent about data and data security you will find that your customers trust you more and are more likely to want to work with you and your business.

Now you have a better understanding of GDPR are you feeling more confident about the 25th of May? Of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should comply with the new GDPR regulation is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your geographical location.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any of your digital marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!

How SMEs Can Get The Most Out Of Their Digital Marketing Budget

You don’t always have to invest money into digital marketing campaigns for your SME. More often than not you only have to invest your time. However we understand that when you do need to use capital to push your digital marketing campaigns forward, it’s important that you make your investment work hard and get some sort of return. But how exactly do you stretch your digital marketing budget and how can you get the most out of it?

Research!

The first thing you need to do before you can start making your budget work efficiently is research. Read up on the best budgeting practices for SMEs. You’ll probably find that there are a lot of different ways to approach budgeting but you have to find the one that is going to suit your SME’s budgeting needs best. For instance if you don’t have much spare capital to begin with it’s probably best to lean towards a budget that’s slightly lower at first and then build it up. But remember to be flexible, don’t limit yourself to strict budgeting rules unless you really have to. 

Reference ROI.

We’ve been speaking a lot about ROI recently and why it’s important to SMEs. There are so many reasons as to why you should plan your budget around potential return on investment. Put capital behind digital marketing campaigns that you think will provide you with the most business in the long run. Obviously you cannot have complete assurance that you will make a huge return, you just have to think about it a little more. For example: if you own a small organic cafe, you probably don’t want to have advertisements on the local B2B network. Target your campaigns to your niche and you’ll see better results and returns.

Get strategic.

Like we said above – if you’re investing in digital marketing campaigns, you have to think about how much return you are going to achieve. To get a decent return on campaigns they need to be strategically targeted and placed. When you’re starting out, it’s almost always better to make your campaigns more targeted and specific rather than general. However, to do this, you must first understand who your target audience are and where they spend the most of their time online. There is no point in wasting money on campaigns that aren’t targeting a specific audience because then you’ll just recieve engagement from people you don’t necessarily want business from.

Evaluate and replicate.

One of the most important things when it comes to getting the most out of your digital marketing budget is keeping reports on previous campaigns. Measure ROI, lead times and acquisitions. Once you’ve got a decent amount of data on your campaigns you will probably be able to identify a few trends. Looks for similarities in results, peaks and dips. Then correlate this with the content of your campaigns. This way you can identify what is and isn’t working well and either apply it to future campaigns or disregard it.

Now you have a better understanding of how to get the most out of your digital marketing budget are you ready for some serious business results? Of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should use marketing strategies is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any of your digital marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!