As a small business owner / marketer, prioritizing your average workday can be a daunting task. There”s so much to work you have to get done with only a finite amount of hours in your workday. When you”re working on your web marketing strategies, you need to make sure you focus your efforts on what will provide you with the highest return on investment (ROI). You just don”t have time to spend your time on things that don”t pay off with either dollars or saved minutes.
So how do you decide which web marketing strategy to work on to attain the most fruitful retail website possible? The sexy new trend is social media marketing, so that means you should do that, right?
In (and the graph above), the complicated decision of “what do I do?” is made easy and backed by real data. It”s crystal clear. You need to work on getting traffic to your website through the search engines. Google, Yahoo, and Bing are the #1 referral traffic source for retail websites (35%). Social media ranks fifth out of six (2.4%)! You definitely want a piece of that pie. Here”s how…
Your top three web marketing priorities if you”re a small business:
Priority 1 – Research your keywords
You need to find the right keywords for your unique business. This will ensure you’re optimizing all the content on your website with keywords that are relevant to what your customers and potential customers are using when they search for your business. Start a master spreadsheet with all of your keywords for safe keeping. You could even break the list up into categories. This list is extremely important as it will serve as your content marketing roadmap.
If you’re looking for a great tool to research what keywords will work best, a great place to start is with BoostSuite. We automatically analyze every keyword we find on your website and present the highest opportunity keywords to you immediately. We”re constantly reanalyzing them in case anything changes, so you always have the most up to date info. You can also add all of the keywords from your master list or Google Webmaster Tools account to your BoostSuite account so we can analyze them and determine which are most valuable.
Another useful technique is finding and targeting the keywords your competitors are optimizing their pages for. If you want to find out who”s targeting your best keywords (a.k.a. your online competition), just do a search for said keywords! Consider everyone on page one your competition. If you click on the first 5 results, view the source code for each of the 5 pages, then search (control/commend F) for “keywords”, you might get lucky and find out the focus keywords of each page. Maybe not, but it”s worth a shot.
Priority 2 – Blog, blog, blog
Once you know what keywords to write about, start writing and publishing at least one blog post a week.
In 2012 the number 1 source of small business website traffic was organic search. That means 41% of all website traffic came through the search engines from a relevant query. That’s pretty impressive. On the flip side, social media only accounted for a measly 1.9% of all website traffic.
This goes to show that small businesses should invest their time and money into writing blog posts as opposed to social media. If you had taken all the time you spent on social media and instead created 5 new blog posts focused on providing valuable insights to your readers, we know that you would have an additional 275 unique visitors coming to your website every month. How do we know? A new page of content on a small business website receives on average 55 new unique website visitors each month (source).
Priority 3 – Optimize your blog posts
Simply publishing one new blog post a week doesn”t get you to page one of the search engine results page (SERP).
Publishing posts helps by adding more website content for the search engines to find and index, but you need to make sure that content is relevant and optimized. As long as you”re focusing your writing on one of those valuable keywords we mentioned in Priority 1, you need to make sure to add it everywhere you can on the relevant post.
Make sure the focus keywords is near the front of the page title, in the meta description, the page URL, the H1 heading, and at least 3-5 times in the body content. Be sure your posts aren”t too short yet aren”t skyscrapers (extremely long articles). The sweet spot is about 700 words. Finally, make sure each post has a strong call-to-action. Don”t leave your readers thinking, “what do I do now?”. Tell them exactly what to do!
Now you”re prioritized – Bring it all together!
If you”re a small business, it doesn”t matter if your website is a retail website or not, you need more traffic to grow. Social media is quite possibly the worst way to do that. Instead, you should be researching their keywords, creating content regularly, and optimizing said content using the best keywords possible. The best news of all is that there”s a tool out there that helps you automate and streamline this process – you guessed it, BoostSuite!
BoostSuite users who increased their optimization grades also increased website visitors on average by 214% and purchases on average by 146%. (source)