Are you an entrepreneur, business owner, or manager? Would you like to compete with big businesses and not spend massive amounts on marketing? Now small businesses can compete with the large marketing budgets of corporations. This article is only an introduction into what I like to call the “Digital Ecosystem”. In later articles, we will discuss more in detail about each aspect covered today.
Creating a Digital Presence - Web Site Creation
In the past, many local businesses survived off of word of mouth. Today, this is still true. Sadly, many of these businesses are starting to feel the pains of not adapting the new digital age. I got some good news for you. Word of mouth is still a driving force for many businesses; however, it has evolved with new advancements and changing technology. Many business owners have not taken advantage of these advancements, which is ultimately leaving businesses in the position to be left behind. Digital marketing is 62% cheaper and 3x more effective than traditional marketing. Not only is marketing cheaper than ever before, it is the most effective than it has ever been (refers to digital marketing versus tradition). This is great news because it levels the playing field for all companies, including small enterprises.
Like the past, like today, businesses have survived of word of mouth marketing, however there is one major difference – digitization. Over 90% of consumers trust recommendations that come from family and friends. Now in the digital age, instead of telling 5 friends in person of their experience at a place, they are now telling 500 or more friends online. This is called Digital word of mouth. The internet has changed the playing grounds for everyone in every industry. It gets even better! 88% of consumers trust other consumer online reviews as much as they would if they received the review from someone they know. People seek out the recommendation of friends, family, and even strangers online now. That is why having a presence online is no longer an option, but a necessity. When creating a website, it is important to create one with a mobile experience in mind. Website that are not mobile friendly lose traffic and also Google ranks them lower. Most of website traffic today comes from mobile devices.
Improving your Digital Visibility - How SEO affects your business
Did you know that 91.5% of consumers do not go past the first page of Google? But only 44% of local business utilize Google My Business. With a little effort, many business can surpass their competitors by focusing on where few will. Google My Business is a great platform to communicate with your customers, keep them up to date, and improve your search ranking. Google has its own algorithm on how it ranks your site or business. It takes a mixture of things into consideration such as the number of users, proximity, rating, and etc. Many companies fear receiving bad reviews; however, this is not a worry unless there are too many negative reviews. This means, it is actually healthy for a business to have a good balance of positive and negative reviews. 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see a mixture of positive and negative reviews. In the eyes of consumers, a company with a 4.3-star ranking on Google is more attractive than a perfect 5-star company. Companies that have a perfect 5 start ranking can come across as inauthentic or censored. Also, it is very important to reply to bad reviews. The consumers are more likely to change or delete the bad review if they receive a reply from owners compared to if they did not receive any feedback at all. Google actually rewards you for replying to reviews by giving you a higher ranking. This is not the only benefit of replying to reviews. A business that replies to reviews receives more reviews than other businesses that do not. Which in returns helps with their search ranking.
Let’s dig a little deeper into the concept of the “Digital Ecosystem”. The higher you rank, the more visitors your site will have. The more visitors you have, the higher you will rank. By focusing on one or all of these aspects you can transform your business, creating a snowball effect. When one part of the ecosystem improves the whole ecosystem benefits tremendously. This can be achieved by offering a few easy services that I will discuss later on. The key takeaway is the whole ecosystem improves when one area does.
Web Citations are important for every business for you can get found by your customer. Even though the majority of searches will come from Google, it is important to be listed on other sites as well. This builds trust between you and Google. In return, your business will rank higher in the listings. I would like to take a second and warn you of some sneaky business competitors. While looking for a company to help you improve your SEO ranking be wary of the ones who try to achieve this by buying ads to put you in the front. SEO rankings are more valuable when they are organic versus paid. Paid ads to make you appear higher comes off inauthentic to the buyers. Other companies will even build fake backlinks in order to achieve this. It is not a matter if Google finds out its when Google finds out. If they find out you been using fake backlinking, this will hurt your business tremendously. Secondly, be wary of companies such as YEXT. They will fix your local web citations, however, once you stop doing business with them, they revert your citations back to what they were prior. Some of the local web citations they fix are local sites they have created themselves. When fixing local citations, hire a freelancer and get them done properly for a one time cost.
Tradition marketing is known as push marketing. Push marketing is when you shove your brand in front of consumers such as tv ads, radio ads, etc. Content Marketing also is known as push marketing is often times very expensive and less effective than pull marketing. Pull marketing is relatively a new strategy many companies are starting to adopt. Pull marketing is 62% times cheaper and 3x more effective than push marketing. This is why you see a big push from big brands like McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Wendy’s on social media all the time. Pull marketing is when consumers come to you. Companies need to provide value to the consumer so they keep coming back. Creating a relationship with your customer online will make them shop with you more often and spend more each visit. Business can do this by posting pictures, post, blogs, and video. The number one rule about content marketing is CONTENT is king. However, quality over quantity is the most important. Provide true value for your followers and do not spam them with unwanted material. If you post too many irrelevant posts this will lower your engagement and lose you a ton of followers. Number one goal for content marketing is to be engaging. Content marketing with help generate traffic to your site, which also helps with your SEO ranking. Content will also help establish your business as an expert in the field. “47% of buyers viewed three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.” — Demand Gen Report, 2016. Interest in hearing more about content marketing make sure to subscribe.
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