The digital age has made it possible for any business to reach a global audience.
Where once before your customers were limited to your immediate location, the Internet essentially removes those physical barriers. People from all parts of the globe can browse and purchase directly from your site. The growth potential is practically limitless.
But even with a fully fledged site, there is no guarantee that your target market will even find it.
Your competitors are likely all vying for the same customers. So you can bet that they are investing heavily in their digital marketing campaigns. This means that your business risks losing a major competitive advantage without a marketing strategy in place.
Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions is that marketing a business online is practically impossible without a substantial investment. Having successfully worked with clients on limited budgets, we know this is simply not true. A larger budget is certainly advantageous but it by no means offers a guaranteed return.
So how can you get your products or services in front of potential customers with limited resources?
Here we look at ways to market your site even with a fixed budget.
1. Optimize On-Page SEO Factors
The advent of the Internet has made the Yellow Pages nothing more than heavy paper weights.
Most people now turn to search engines to find information, with Google taking the lion share of the search market. Increasing visibility in the search results starts with optimizing the following factors on each page of your site:
- Titles: Titles are the most important on-page factor and should include your target keywords. If your business is locally based, be sure to include the city name to rank for local searches.
- Meta descriptions: These are short snippets of information that appear in the search results beneath the title. Include your target keywords here and make it enticing to increase click through rates.
- Image ALT text: Visitors to a page can hover over an image for a short description. Optimize the ALT text to include your keywords.
- Display URLs: Optimizing display URLs is beneficial from a user and search engine standpoint. WordPress makes it easy to change the URLs from “example.com/?p=123” to “example.com/page-description”. The latter gives search engines a better idea of what a page is about.
- Content: Each page on your site should be optimized to include both your primary and secondary keywords. But be careful not to spam your content as it can lead to a ranking penalty.
Google considers hundreds of factors when determining search engine rankings. But these are some of the most important. Take the time to optimize all on-page factors for each page to improve their visibility in the search results.
2. Maintain a Company Blog
Blogs are powerful marketing tools as each post is a vehicle for sales and traffic. In fact, marketers who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to enjoy a positive return for their efforts. Keeping a blog regularly updated with industry news or insights is beneficial for the following reasons:
- Visibility: Blogging provides fresh updates for the search engines to index, improving visibility for a range of search queries.
- Authority: Consumers tend to be far more likely to purchase from brands that they trust. If your site is relatively new, then you have an uphill battle to climb. Publishing posts with engaging insights in your industry can help establish authority with both visitors and search engines.
- Links: Appealing content that delivers value is far more likely to attract links and be shared on social networks. In contrast, a site with barely a few pages of content is less likely to gain any attention.
Consistency is key to gaining traction with your blog.
You cannot simply publish one post and expect a flood of traffic the next day. The best way to get started is to identify the most common questions in your market. Use resources such as social media networks for content ideas and other insights you can create engaging posts around.
Another great way to leverage blogging is with outreach. The idea is to publish content on authoritative sites in your industry and in exchange you get a link back to your site with the potential for referral traffic.
Both blogging on your own site and reaching out to other sites are completely free. They only require your time to do the research and publishing. Unlike other marketing channels, once those pages are live they can continue to drive sales and traffic to your site for years to come.
3. Advertise on Bing
Google AdWords is by far the most popular PPC platform. But it also comes at a much higher cost depending on your industry. In some cases, it can cost several dollars or even more for a single click to a landing page. AdWords is likely not the best option if you are trying to market your business on a budget.
Fortunately, there are other alternatives that are far more affordable.
Bing is a similar PPC platform where you can bid on keywords and have your ads displayed. It may not generate as much traffic but Bing averages about 33.5% cheaper per click than AdWords. Bidding strategically means that you can expect a decent amount of traffic for a fraction of the cost. Less competition also means better ad positions.
Bing tends to be overlooked by business owners and marketers simply because it doesn’t drive as much search traffic as Google. But when you are on a tight budget, every single dollar counts. Bing is a great way to cheaply drive targeted traffic to your pages without a substantial investment. And having a smaller budget actually forces you to analyze and improve key metrics such as click through rates.
These efforts can ultimately lead to greater efficiency for your PPC campaign.
Being a business owner is challenging enough. But the reality is that you need to make focused efforts to market your products or services in front of your target audience. Simply building a site is no longer enough thanks to the competitive nature of the web.
Start by optimizing all on-page SEO factors. Your site won’t rank overnight but it will help the search engines crawl and index your pages. Then maintain a regularly updated blog and consider reaching out to other industry sites. Finally, advertising on Bing is a great way to start driving targeted traffic to your pages for much less than advertising on AdWords.
These are some of the most cost effective strategies to market any business online on a budget. And once your campaign starts generating favorable results, you can allocate more resources into other marketing channels.