Organic and Free – Digital Marketing Tips for SMEs
These tips will guide you on how to organically improve your online presence at no monetary cost to your business, while giving you a better understanding of when you really need to call in the professionals.
Working with SMEs and new businesses I often see owners overwhelmed with the idea of getting involved in digital marketing. It is important to realise this market is only going to increase, so knowledge, no matter how basic, is vitally important. Whether you are an experienced CEO or a start-up novice, this article will help you understand what the ‘tech guy’ is on about and allow you to have a look ‘under the bonnet’ of your digital business to understand for yourself what makes it tick.
Better Yourself to Better Your Site
With the ‘access everything immediately’ possibilities offered by Google, it has had an incredible effect on the marketing and business strategies of all companies, but perhaps the most exciting chance has been offered to new businesses and SMEs. Although it can present itself as a daunting prospect, undertaking free courses such as Google’s Digital Garage provides the opportunity to quickly gain the knowledge needed to understand and use this tool to their benefit. Allowing business owners to do some of the leg work themselves and save money on hiring external workers.
Reputation is everything, so reviewing your online reputation is vital. After all, you are what Google says you are, so you must ensure that what Google and other search engines think of you and your business is a true reflection. Search for your company name with “reviews” after it and see what you find. Consider responding to any neutral or negative reviews to show care and engagement. Increase reviews by asking current clients to share their opinions for you. Make it easy for them by sending a link to your social media pages or where-ever you need the reviews to count.
Although the dream scenario is a relevant website linking to you, search engines look positively on the opposite. If you have found some great relevant content that you want to share with your audience, create a link within your next article or on one of your page. One of the quickest and easiest ways is to build references to Wikipedia or similar giving definitions to areas you are covering.
Optimise for Mobile
While it may not be simple to reconfigure the code yourself, checking everything works as it should is a simple matter. Over 50% of google searches are now completed via mobile, meaning this step could help drastically reduce your bounce rate (when a user leaves your website from the landing page without browsing any further). In this process, I’d recommend using Pingdom as it helps provide an extensive overview of what the main issues are. It is likely that if there are any issues, you’ll have to bring in an expert. However, with this overview you won’t be misled, and you’ll be able to see for yourself what needs to be done.
Clean up your Backlink Profile
As discussed above, links are a huge ranking factor for search engines, however they can also be a good way to get your website penalised. Keeping a tidy backlink profile will help your cause immensely. Using a backlink audit tool such as Majestic, you should look for the number of websites you are linking from, irrelevant sites (not in your industry) and sudden increases in links over a short time period. This handy little guide helps show you how to do a quick audit in only 45 minutes. Perfect!
Install a Caching Plugin
This helps reduce the strain on your server by serving visitors a static version of your webpage. It increases speed and can help reduce the cause of ‘downtime’ (when your server is not online) This is highly recommended for anyone using a WordPress website, as they are known for making large amounts of database calls leading to sluggish performance. WPRocket seems to be a popular choice, though there are lots of plugins available.
Content. Content. Content.
It must be boring to hear, but it truly is king. Bill Gates said it 1996, and it remains a constant. Whether it is publishing content on your own pages, starting a blog or linking to other relevant content online. Make sure this is done consistently and use the opportunity to optimise. This guide on keywords from an organic marketing company will help you understand the importance in your word choices. There are so many benefits to relevant, targeted and optimised content, such as keyword rankings and increased link opportunities, that I could probably write 2 more articles on this alone.
Use HTTPS correctly
If you have an online business, you will be aware – or should be aware – of the important of HTTPS with a SSL certificate. Not having this correctly implemented will mean your website is not secure and can have a very negative impact on how search engines and users view your site. Quickly check for the Green Padlock in the browser across your pages. No Green Padlock? Not good. Study this for https advice.
Hopefully these tips will give you an insight into what is possible for all experience levels and perhaps it has provided you with the answer as to what may be hampering your online performance.