Online Marketing For Small Businesses — The Basics
Marketing on the internet is a vast sector to explore, and unfortunately, we don’t have the time to cover it all today.
If we went into every single detail of online marketing in this article, you’d be reading forever.
But it’s vital that you know about the basics, at least. So let’s start small and introduce some of the most important aspects of online marketing.
First is PPC, or Pay-Per-Click advertising.
PPC advertising is, as the name implies, when a business pays for each click a particular ad gets.
You’re probably already familiar with this in the form of a service like Google Ads.
When you search for something on Google, you’ll often see sponsored links near the top and bottom of the first page.
These sponsored links are PPC ads, and they can be super useful for getting quick results, at least compared to some of the other advertising alternatives.
If used correctly, PPC advertising can be a godsend for your business.
But paid advertising isn’t the only way to get the word out.
In fact, there’s a strategy with the potential for much higher long-term ROI. SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
Basically, it just means getting your website to appear higher on Google’s search results.
The premise behind why SEO works so well is simple:
Lot’s of people use Google to search before they make the decision to buy, in fact, 50% of smartphone users who make searches on Google end up visiting a business within the same day.
But there’s a problem…
Most of those people tend to not go any farther than the first page on Google, in fact, only 25% of users ever venture to page 2 of Google’s results or beyond.
This means if you want to take advantage of the other 75% of organic traffic online, you’ll need a way to get onto the first page.
SEO might not be simple, but the payoff for implementing it is insane, partially because of it’s low cost to put into place.
45% of companies consider it an integral part of their marketing strategy, and more are hopping on the SEO trend by the day.
But an SEO strategy or PPC ads aren’t going to do you well if you don’t maintain another critical piece of your business’s online presence:
Reputation Management — Why Your Business Needs It
To start, I’m going to ask a question:
Would you buy anything from a business that you don’t trust?
If you’re like most people, the answer is probably no. And that makes perfect sense.
After all, if you don’t trust the business, why wouldn’t you just go to one you do trust?
This is why a business needs to build trust with their audience.
And one of the best ways to do this?
Building an excellent reputation.
A strong reputation does wonders for building quick trust with new potential customers.
The problem is that many business owners think building a reputation is an automatic process.
While it’s true that your reputation will likely improve naturally if your business deserve it, this is often a very slow process if left to its own.
And sometimes business just dont don’t get the credit that they truly deserve.
Rather than leaving your reputation to improve on its own, it’s a much safer bet to take things into your own hands.
That’s exactly what a reputation management strategy is.
It’s about taking control of your reputation and giving your business the credit it deserves.
But how exactly can you take your reputation into your own hands?
I mean, it’s not up to you to decide what the public thinks about your business, right?
Well, in a way, yes. But there’s a catch.
While you can’t control what people think or say about your business online (not that you’d want to), there are steps you can take to help guide things in the right direction.
The Key Pieces Of An Effective Reputation Management Strategy
There’s not a single piece that makes up the whole reputation management puzzle.
To craft the strategy that gets you the most value for your effort, you’ll need to split your attention between a few areas.
The first of those areas being your social media presence.
Social Media & Customer Engagement
Social media is a huge avenue for any business to take advantage of.
People are constantly checking their social media and searching for business pages on platforms like Facebook.
This means you have the opportunity for you to show off the best aspects of your business exactly where people are looking for it.
Social media is also the perfect place for you to engage with your customers and show that you care.
Customer engagement is key to building brand loyalty and trust that keeps people coming back.
A Google My Business Listing
Google has a part in almost everything nowadays, and unsurprisingly, you’ve got to take advantage of their platforms and tools if you want to stand out above the rest.
The first step to this is a strong SEO strategy, as I mentioned before.
But another less commonly known aspect of optimizing your business for web searches is a Google My Business listing.
But what is Google My Business?
Even if you haven’t heard the term before, you’re probably familiar with Google My Business (or GMB for short) already.
Let’s use Starbucks’ GMB as an example.
When you search for a local Starbucks, you’ll see a listing that looks like this on the sidebar.
That’s what a GMB listing is.
It’s how your business appears when people search for it on Google.
And if you don’t already have one, just know that they’re becoming increasingly vital.
After all, GMB has quite a bit going for it.
To name just a few of the benefits of a GMB listing, they help you:
⦁ Boost your search engine rank
⦁ Get more online exposure through Google
⦁ Appear more professional online
⦁ And showcase your online reviews
For any business owner that’s serious about their online presence, it’s an absolute must.
And speaking of online reviews, let’s get to the next part of a strong reputation management strategy…
The next piece to your reputation management strategy, and arguably one of the most important of the pieces, is a consistent way to get more reviews.
If you want your business to shine online, you’ve got to have a system in place to encourage customers to leave reviews.
Because leaving the review process up to chance is a great way to get a low rating on Google.
Often, if a customer is satisfied, they won’t really think to go online and leave you a review.
It’s not that they didn’t love their experience; it just doesn’t cross their minds sometimes.
On the other hand, when people are unhappy with their service, it’s much more likely they’ll vent about it in an online review.
Unfortunately, this often leads to a disproportionate amount of bad reviews for businesses that are providing stellar services just because of a few bad eggs.
But there’s a way around this problem that lets you get more authentic positive reviews.
Before we get into exactly how you can get more reviews for your business, let’s take a look at the facts behind why they’re so important in the first place.
Why Reviews Are So Important
Studies show that 4 in 5 consumers base their buying behavior on reviews.
If a business has no reviews, or a load of bad reviews, most people won’t even bother trying it out.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though, because getting more reviews from your customers isn’t all too hard with the right strategy in place.
How To Get More Reviews For Your Business
The First Step: Ask For Them
It might seem so obvious that it’s not worth mentioning, but you’d be surprised at how many business’s don’t take this step.
Asking your customers for reviews is one of the most effective ways to get more reviews.
This is especially true when you ask while they’re still excited about their experience.
Like I mentioned before, sometimes all people need is a reminder to leave a review, and they’d be happy to oblige.
Another crucial step that many business’s forget to take?
Sometimes when you ask for the review, the customer puts it on their “I’ll do it later” list. But the problem is that many of them will still forget, so reminding them occasionally if they haven’t left reviews yet is another important step to take.
But with all that being said, there’s still a problem.
Asking each and every one of your customers for a review, and then following up on the ones who haven’t takes up quite a bit of time. And when you’ve got a business to manage, there’s not much room in the schedule to do that.
Which is one of the reasons ReviewNhit is such a valuable tool.
Using ReviewNhit To Automate Review Generation
ReviewNhit solves this problem, and then some.
Instead of manually reaching out to each customer, you can let ReviewNhit do the work for you.
It sends out automatic review links to your customers and follows up on the ones who don’t.
It even helps you encourage more good reviews while giving you the chance to make amends with customers who’ve had bad experiences before they leave a negative review that stains your reputation.
And boosting your review game isn’t all that ReviewNhit does…
How ReviewNhit Takes Your Review Management A Step Further
Here’s the thing:
As we’ve mentioned before, online reviews are critical to business success.
With no reviews comes a lack of trust.
And a lack of trust means much less business from potential customers.
But once you have a collection of good reviews, the job’s not done, because you need a way to show those reviews off to the world.
ReviewNhit doesn’t just help you generate more authentic, positive reviews; it uploads them to your website and social media pages, too. Which saves you time and makes your business look great in the process.
Start Generating More Postive Reviews Today
Want to know the other great thing about ReviewNhit?
That’s right; you can sign up to get ReviewNhit for your business today at no cost. No credit cards, no obligations or contracts, just more reviews for your business.
Want to learn more about what ReviewNhit can do for your online reputation?
See exactly how it can help your business get more reviews and better search engine rankings here.