Not every modern business is tech-savvy and proficient with digital marketing; in fact, 36% of America’s small businesses don’t even have a website; and many of those that do, have nothing more than a lonely website in the shadows. While this is a good start, this type of strategy isn’t going to attract many website visitors.
The good news is, it doesn’t take a marketing genius to start gaining traffic to a business’s website, yet it does take some time and effort to develop and execute a viable digital marketing strategy. In an effort to help, let’s examine 3 ways small brick and mortar businesses can leverage their websites.
Essentially, businesses want their call to action to be prominently displayed on the home page of their website. Usually, this would be on the top right corner. Having a pop-up form to capture emails would be good too — this can be configured with an email marketing list service (Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, etc.).
The main objective is to make the website easy to understand and navigate. By studying the website and using it as a visitor would, businesses can detect any confusion and fix the problems.
For instance, the home page should have tabs to important pages, social media links, brand logo, a picture of the establishment, business address and hours, phone number, email, and a prominent call to action (usually an email capture form).
2. Integrate a Blog:
Once businesses have their websites ready for making conversions, they can begin to market their business online. One of the most inexpensive and effective methods to do this is by having a business blog on their website.
There are two ways to go about integrating a blog: Internal and external. The internal method is to either use the blog function already available within the website or add one to it. The other option would be to blog from a separate URL and connect it to the business’s website.
The first option is the best for small businesses because it gives their website’s URL more visibility with search engines and aligns closer with their brand (the main URL is the same). The second option can be used if the first isn’t viable and for syndicating blog content.
optimal SEO, SERP (search engines like fresh content, keywords, etc.)
builds the website’s online presence page by page
perks the interests of the target audience
produces content to share with email lists
gives businesses a way to add value to social media efforts
helps businesses stay top-of-mind with the target audience
answers questions and informs readers
method of generating local SEO content
produces content for syndication
All of these benefits will help businesses increase their online traffic and make more conversions; ultimately, for brick and mortar stores, this means more store-front customers too. And the nice part about online traffic that turns into storefront customers is they’re already connected to a business’s online marketing efforts.
3. Brand Alignment with Social Media and Syndicated Platforms:
Now that businesses have their optimized website with a blog, they’re ready to grow and expand their online presence. This includes creating profiles and accounts with preferred social media and syndicated platforms, which may include:
As a business’s online presence grows, a universally aligned brand image, logo, and unique selling proposition (USP) across all channels will ensure optimal brand visibility and recognition.
Essentially, businesses need to stay consistent with their profile pics, bios, contact emails, links, etc. This will eliminate confusion and solidify brand loyalty from target audiences.
For instance, it would be easier for a follower on Twitter to follow a company on Facebook if they could easily recognize their profile pic in the suggested section of their feed; also, it would be confusing if a visitor came to a website to find the colors and designs are different than a business’s syndicated platform profile, etc.
Small brick and mortar businesses don’t have to hire a digital marketing agency or website building service to leverage their online presence, although these may help in certain instances. All they really need to do is optimize their website, integrate a blog, and align their brand on all social media and syndicated platforms.
Although these ways take time and effort to accomplish, if businesses have these readily available, they can leverage their websites to increase online traffic for very little cost. Outsourcing may be a good option in some situations, as this will fast-track development and eliminate the learning curve associated with digital marketing.
In the business world, the art and discipline of applying oneself is more valuable than any other skill. One has to make their resume sound optimal, yet applying is more than half of the battle. We can't be afraid of rejection, as this will happen most of the time before success.