Is Social Media Marketing Worth It? 10 Reasons to Go Social

Many SMEs view social media with mixed feelings. On the one hand, social media can be a great marketing platform. At the same time, social media is also time-consuming. Many businesses invest large amounts of time and money into social media marketing only to see little results. This begs the question, is social media marketing worth it?

With the right strategies, social media marketing is still worthwhile. There are multiple benefits to social media marketing. Businesses can take advantage of all the benefits of social media marketing by simply setting targeted goals. Here are some reasons why your business should go social this year.

1. Social Media Drives Traffic

Although building an email list is the ultimate way to get more web traffic, social media is the best place to start. What makes social media stand out is that it’s easy to setup accounts. Everyone’s already on Facebook and Twitter so you should know how to establish a presence for yourself.

The more followers you get on social media, the more web traffic you can expect when you publish links. Social media is also great to draw attention to special offers, product launches and more.

2. Marketing on Social Media Drives Engagement

Engagement is one area where social media stands out far above other marketing channels. There’s nowhere else where your followers can engage with your content through liking, commenting and sharing as easily.

A lot of social platforms also allow you to receive messages from customers via an instant messenger. This allows for more opportunities for customers to communicate with your brand. Customers can easily send you their questions, complaints and compliments. Communicating via instant messaging is modern and convenient for both you and your customers.

3. Build Brand Awareness

It can be hard to stand out from the crowd and establish a brand voice. Social media makes branding easier by allowing you to share images, content and messaging that lines up with your brand.

Establishing a solid brand helps create loyal customers. A brand helps create a sense of familiarity for customers, which they keep turning back to.

4. Learn More About Your Customers

Using social media can provide a lot of insight into the minds of people in your audience. You’ll be able to see what content your audience likes more. By getting this insight into your audience, you can adjust all your marketing to suit what your audience responds to best.

Many platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, also allow you to create polls. You can take advantage of this by asking customers questions about what they’d like to see from your business.

5. Social Media Allows You to Compete

Any business, no matter how big or small, can create social profiles. By using social media, smaller businesses are often able to complete with larger competitors.

Now matter the size of a business, the layout of their Facebook page or Twitter profile will still look the same. Unlike with your business website, you don’t need to spend a lot of money of web design to look professional. Simply focus on using high quality images and your brand can look as good as any.

6. Get Easy Marketing with Social Shares

If you consistently create high quality social media content, you’re likely to get some shares. The great thing about making sharable content is that it has the potential to go viral.

Not sure how to get people to share your content? Why not run a Facebook competition. Offer the winner a chance to get some of your products and services for free. Ask them to like your post, share it and comment to enter. Then take all the names of people who entered and randomly select a winner.

With this idea, you’ll need to think of a good prize. You’ll also need to spread awareness of your Facebook competition. Consider sharing the post about your competition to local groups where businesses can advertise.

7. Social Media Advertising is Affordable

Paid ads on social media offer some of the highest ROIs available. For competitive keywords, the cost of Google Adwords is always going up. However, platforms like Facebook offer highly affordable advertising options that are targeted to a specific audience.

You can choose your audience based on their location, job title, interests, age and more. This allows you to show highly targeted ads that are likely to have a good ROI.

The important thing is to choose the posts you promote wisely. Consider paid ads for posts promoting competitions, new products, special offers and other noteworthy company news. Be sure your ads are made to convert.

Don’t promote a post if it doesn’t have a prompt. You could prompt your audience to buy your product, enter a competition or even just to sign up for your email list. Just be sure your ads have a clear goal.

8. Social Media Is Flexible

For the best results, it’s better to post on social media more often. That said, you don’t have to commit to a posting schedule that won’t work for you. Too many business owners start off posting regularly on social media, but these efforts often fizzle out later on due to time constraints.

However, the good thing about social media is that you can tailor a posting schedule to your needs. If your business is only able to post once or twice a week, that’s still okay. You don’t need to post multiple tiles daily to enjoy the benefits of social media marketing.

Just be sure to keep your profile updated at least once every two weeks, even during periods when you’re short on time. New visitors on your profiles should be able to see that you publish relevant content regularly.

9. Promote Business Events, Sponsorships and More

If your business is attending a trade show, sponsoring an event or hosting a charity fundraiser, social media is the ideal place to advertise.

The great thing about social media is that you can always be growing your following. The more followers you have, the more you’ll get out of running a special campaign to promote important news at your company. Be sure to make the most out of this opportunity. If there’s any special event in your company you want to shed some light on, run a campaign of posts across your social media channels.

Be sure to publish multiple promotional posts for the same event, as your followers don’t see all the posts you publish in their feeds. In some cases, you can even repost old content, but don’t overdo this, as it can bore your audience.

10. Social Media Can Be Fun

You and your team can have so much fun with your social media. Audiences of social platforms go to relax and catch up with friends and family. As a result, most social media platforms aren’t overly serious. While it’s important to stay professional online, your audience will appreciate it if your content reflects their relaxed mood while browsing their favorite platforms.

It’s okay to share interesting content from around the web that relates to your industry. You can also give your audience a good laugh by sharing funny content, especially if it relates to your industry. Motivational content like quotes are also popular on social platforms.

By considering what kinds of entertaining content your business can create, you can make your social media marketing a fun project for everyone in the company.

There are so many great ways to create content for social media. You can even consider sharing video content and have fun creating images that reflect your brand.

Rozanne WildsIs Social Media Marketing Worth It? 10 Reasons to Go Social
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Best Advertising Channels for Small Business

Achieving success in small business is becoming ever more difficult. With so many new startups every year, standing out from the crowd is challenging. Statistically speaking, about half of all small businesses fail within the first 5 years. Of the businesses that fail, 14% state inadequate marketing as the main reason for failure. Considering this, a good marketing strategy is a necessity for new businesses. Entrepreneurs need to learn about the best advertising channels for small business to achieve marketing success.

How to Choose the Best Advertising Channels for Small Business?

There isn’t a list of the definitive best advertising channels for small business. Like with all marketing, what works best for one business model might not benefit another. So, when choosing the best channels for your business, you’ll do well to consider some of the following factors:

  • Budget
  • Target demographic
  • Platform reach and audience

It’s always great to compare the typical users on an advertising platform with your target market. Doing this can help you decide if potential customers are lurking there.

For the purpose of this article, advertising refers to paid campaigns only. This means that long-term inbound marketing strategies such as search engine optimization, a Google My Business and optimizing a business website for conversions aren’t discussed.

Facebook vs Instagram Advertising

Facebook is currently the world’s largest social media platform. Apart from this accomplishment, the company also boasts ownership of Instagram, another social platform that ranks within the top five worldwide.

Both Facebook and Instagram are great platforms for small businesses to advertise on. That said, Facebook is generally the best social platform to start with.


Approximately 70% of adults in America are on Facebook, with most visiting the platform daily. This creates wide-ranging possibilities to target customers on Facebook. Paid Facebook advertisements can be optimized to target demographics according to age, interests and even job titles.

Another benefit of Facebook is that it allows businesses to create their own pages. By promoting a Facebook business page, businesses can gain new likes and followers and stay in touch with potential customers.

All these factors make Facebook an easy platform to start advertising. Business owners can expect to invest little effort and money into advertising campaigns and receive relatively good returns.

The lower cost of Facebook ads also makes the platform great when AB testing advertisements to see what works best. If you’re not sure where to start with paid advertising, Facebook is a safe bet.


Instagram is also a great platform to use and won’t cost a fortune. However, people who use Instagram are generally younger, so it stands out as a great platform for brands that target young audiences. That said, ads can also be targeted to specific audiences like on Facebook, so it’s possible to target an older demographic on Instagram too.

Instagram ads are usually in the form of promoted posts – seeing as the site doesn’t display traditional ads in its users’ feeds. Because ads are simply promoted posts, they won’t look spammy. If you create stunning visuals, your ads can be as attractive as any other content on the site, helping to boost performance.

Facebook vs Instagram Ads Cost Comparison

When it comes to cost, Instagram is, apparently, still somewhat cheaper than Facebook. In 2017, the CPM cost (which is the cost per 1000 impressions) on Instagram was about $5. Facebook ads were about twice as expensive, with a CPM cost of approximately $10. However, more recent data has narrowed to gap, with some advertisers reporting an average CPM cost of approximately $5 on both platforms.

That said, the CPC (cost per click) on Facebook still seems to be higher, with and average cost of $0.80 on Facebook and $0.20 on Instagram.

Luckily both platforms allow you to control your daily ad expenditure. This means you can set an exact ad campaign budget on both sites that won’t ever be exceeded. The only difference between Facebook and Instagram is how much you’ll get for your money’s worth. In general, Instagram should get you more exposure for a lower price.

This can make Instagram seem like the obvious best choice. But having more ad reach won’t help if your ad isn’t being displayed to your target audience. Advertising to the wrong audience can cause your ad to be ineffective, even if it seems like it’s getting a lot of attention, you might not get enough conversions to get a good ROI.

Also keep in mind that you can also run ad campaigns on other social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest.

Paid Search Engine Ads

Running a PPC campaign on a popular search engine like Google can be great to attract website visitors. When setting up a PPC campaign on search engines, it’s essential that you lead traffic to a landing page or business website that’s optimized for sales. Be sure your business website is set up in a way that helps you get more sales from it.

Although it’s possible to master PPC without professional help, it can take a lot of learning. Without a proper strategy, you run the risk of wasting a lot of money on targeting ineffective keywords. Because if this, it’s best to hire professional help when starting out with a Google Adwords PPC campaign for your small business.

Run an Online Marketing Campaign

Running an online marketing campaign often goes hand in hand with paid search engine traffic.

In this case, PPC ads from either Google or a social media platform usually lead traffic to a landing page. This landing page should be optimized for conversions. It should advertise your product or service and have a clear call-to-action to prompt visitors to perform a specific task.

To run an online ad campaign, you should have a goal of what you want to achieve. For instance, you could simply use your campaign to collect email subscribers for your list, or you could try to sell your products and services directly from your landing page.

Another way to run an online marketing campaign is through email. Email marketing campaigns aren’t the same as regular newsletters. With a campaign, you specifically promote a certain aspect of your business for a set time period. Examples of things you could promote through an email campaign include special offers, product launches and company events.

Run Traditional Ad Campaigns Locally

A lot of business owners believe that traditional advertising is too old-fashioned – causing them to focus all their efforts on online marketing. While online marketing delivers a good ROI compared to traditional media, there are instances where traditional advertising is still relevant.

Local businesses can often benefit from running more traditional ad campaigns:

  • Broadcasting ads on local radio stations
  • Printed ads in magazines and newspapers
  • Handing out pamphlets and business cards
  • Paying for billboards and posters

While all of these can be beneficial, the trick is to know which ones are most relevant to your business. For instance, a guesthouse might not benefit much from running such ads, seeing as their customers are usually from out of town. However, local wedding planners, restaurants and other businesses might benefit from certain forms of local advertising.

Attend Trade Shows, Fairs and Festivals

Attending local trade shows and fairs can be a great way to educate the public about your business and what you do. Although it’s not the first campaigning strategy that comes to mind, it can be a good opportunity. A lot of small business owners have booths at such events and report great results.

The more focused the event is around what you do, the better the chances it will be worthwhile to advertise there. For instance, if you run a real estate agency or home repair service, you can definitely get new customers from a show for homeowners. Likewise, a travel agency can benefit from exhibiting at a travel event.

Most trade fairs charge a rental fee for having a booth. Booth rental costs can vary. Anything between $35-$150 per square foot is considered normal. Small, local fairs might charge less, however.

Because of the costs involved, you need to choose your events wisely. To establish whether a show is worth your time and money, consider its reach. Well-known events normally attract a larger crowd. Also be sure to ask organizers what they’ll be doing to market their event.

Booth rental isn’t the only expense business owners can expect. Additional expenses for a display include:

  • Stand decorations
  • Business cards
  • Promotional handouts
  • Staffing the stand
  • Exhibit set up and removal

With all additional costs considered, trade shows aren’t the cheapest advertising option. Despite this, many are still worth the investment.


There are many great avenues to advertise small businesses. When choosing what marketing channels to invest in, consider your target market. Sculpting your ad campaigns to attract your target customers will deliver a better ROI, allowing you to make the best of your marketing budget.

Rozanne WildsBest Advertising Channels for Small Business
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How to Get More Sales from Your Business Website

In our fast paced world, it comes as no surprise that everyone wants to see instant results. This statement is true for big and small companies alike – companies all wish to increase the number of sales generated from their website. While it’s completely possible to get more sales from your business website, it’s not always something that can happen instantaneously. There’s no easy way to go about converting your target market into customers.

However, there are a few practical ways to get more customers online. Enhancing your website and creating a user-friendly online shopping experience for is the first place to start. So, if you’re wondering how to get more sales from your business website, be sure to keep reading.

Are Business Websites Still Relevant in 2019?

While many businesses have shifted their attention to applications, websites remain a staple in the online marketing world and customers typically expect even small businesses to have their own website.

Your website can give your brand an opportunity to express itself online, while giving you control of the content that’s posted and how it’s managed. This freedom of content allows for a unique, engaging and customized platform where you can alter and control your brand’s image.

Websites are still one of the most reliable marketing platforms. By providing customers with information they might not have been able to access on your other information sharing platforms, a business website can enhance the credibility your brand.

For small business owners, creating and maintaining a website is cheaper and more beneficial than most other marketing platforms. When compared to investing in traditional advertising methods such as newspapers, having a business website is far more advantageous.

Owning a website will also give you instant access to statistics on conversion metrics for your site. This allows you to measure how effective your website is at making sales, enabling you to focus on on-site conversion rate optimization.

Can A Business Website Increase Sales?

While small businesses owners might argue that having a website isn’t necessary, as their business is accessible on other platforms, results say otherwise.

Up to 81% of consumers research a business online, before making a purchase decision. Your website should thus have the correct and relevant information to help and encourage customers to make a purchase.

Your website also functions as a platform to showcase your products or services. Customers have often do research online about brands and services before going to physical stores to purchase.

Even importantly, if you don’t have a physical store and your website serves as your business’ main presence online, it must convenient, accessible and easy to navigate – allowing customers to make purchases and receive customer service at any time of day.

How to Get Customers Online?

The first step would be to get your target audience as visitors to your website. Even if your site is getting thousands of monthly views, it won’t help if the people visiting your site aren’t your target customers.

In order to increase your online sales, you need to increase the traffic on your website, with a specific focus on attracting your target audience. If you already have a website, look at your current strategies to see why you haven’t had success. The most straight-forward, obvious tip would be to advertise your website on your social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Making use of SEO and keywords are also a way of ensuring that customers manage to find your website online. Blogging is a great way to increase the number of keywords that appear on your website, helping to attract new visitors.

Implementing SEO to Attract New Customers

It’s important to get the basics right. If a customer is on a search engine looking for a business similar to yours, your on-page SEO (Search Engine Optimization) should drive traffic directly from the SERPs (search engine results pages) to your business website.

Research which keywords are most suitable for your industry. When doing keyword research, think about what search terms consumers looking for your product or service might search for. Google AdWords has a good SEO planner that can help you to select relevant phrases and words related to your industry.

Once again, blogging is a great way to improve your SEO. Create blog posts that incorporate internal links, along with the keywords you’ve selected, which should appear in the text.

Include Calls to Action

Each page of the website that your customer lands on should have a call to action, such a “buy now” or “sign up” sign up button, for instance.

Chat windows can also enhance the customers’ experience of your website. They serve as great tools to increase sales through direct person-to-person interaction similar to what customers would expect from a brick-and-mortar business. What better way is there to get more sales from your business website than to offer a personal experience to customers?

Another method of getting more sales from website visitors is to offer them exclusive, time-sensitive discounts when making purchases online. Be sure to advertise any sales you’re running online on your website in areas like the sidebar or on your home page.

Start An E-Newsletter

Popups that prompt customers to sign-up for a company e-newsletter can have great conversion rates. What’s even better is that prospective customers on your newsletter are much more likely to buy from you than ones who aren’t. By running company newsletter, you can inform customers whenever you’re running a sale, which can draw more attention to sales and help you get the most of them.

While welcome mattes and disruptive popups that appear over the main content are popular, users don’t favor them. Newsletter sign up prompts appearing as a small popup in the right corner, or in the sidebar and footer areas are a less disruptive choice which will offer a better experience to your website visitors.

Web Design Choices

Using a simple design is another way to enhance user experience on your site. Make sure your website design is simple and easy for your potential customers to navigate. Before figuring out what your design should look like, think about your target audience and adapt your website to meet the needs of your customers. Your brand and the overall feeling that goes with it should reflect in your website design.

Keep your home page simple. Research has shown that fewer products on offer on the first page can increase website sales.

Pages should load quickly and the necessary information such as your business contact details should be easy to access.

Remember, customers don’t just access websites on their laptops — smart phones and tablets are also used. Because of this, modern websites need to be equally presentable across different devices. A website design that displays well on desktops, tablets and cellphones is called a responsive design and all business owners must ensure their website is responsive.
This is because your web design choices have a direct impact on your SEO. If pages on your website are is too cluttered, load slowly, or lack keywords, they won’t rank well in search engines.

Responsive web design is an integral design element for SEO purposes. The majority on search engine requests in modern day times are from smartphones, so search engines penalize websites that don’t have mobile versions, as this will limit accessibility for most users.

Reviews and Testimonials

Never underestimate the power of a good word! Having a page on your website dedicated to testimonials from previous customers can really boost your credibility online.
Customers tend to seek approval from others, so a good review will can increase sales tremendously. Reviews help your company to be seen as more credible than competitors and establish initial trust with prospects, hopefully cementing them as repeat customers.

In addition to reviews and testimonials, having an industry-led accreditation can boost customers’ morale and persuade them to make a purchase.

Keep Your Website Updated

A basic tip that’s often overlooked is keeping your business site updated. The company needs to hire an individual or professional web service to update the website on a regular basis.
Check your website for broken links and make sure you add more engaging content. If there are “error messages”, or “coming soon” landing pages where they don’t belong, you’ll lose customers due to sheer neglect. Any errors on your website will have a direct impact on your search ranking.

In terms of the general functioning of the website, ensure that your pages have a fast loading speed, otherwise potential customers will leave your website without ever seeing your content. Think about your website as an extension of your business and brand identity. You wouldn’t want customers to associate a visit to your shop with slow service. Likewise, a visit to your website shouldn’t seem long and dragged out either! Put in effort to ensure your business website best reflects your company values.

Get More Sales from Your Business Website

The role of a website for small businesses can’t be underestimated. It serves as both a platform to increase sales, while also providing improved accessibility to your business for customers. Your website establishes your credibility as a business, helps form relationships and showcases your company. To get more sales from your business website, make sure you invest time and money into your website and keep it updated.

Rozanne WildsHow to Get More Sales from Your Business Website
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PPC vs SEO: Which Is Best for Small Businesses?

In the constantly connected world we currently find ourselves, it makes sense that business owners would find potential customers online. Over the past 30 years, since the advent of the internet, the instance of digital marketing being used as the primary form of advertising has grown exponentially.

But, the digital marketing world is no easy landscape to navigate. There are numerous acronyms to decode and things to decipher. However, once you get the hang of it, online advertising can be a hugely rewarding and satisfying way to market your business. Read on to learn the difference between PPC vs SEO and what CPC means within a PPC campaign.

PPC vs CPC: What’s the Difference?

PPC and CPC are related digital marketing concepts. While PPC stands for Pay Per Click and refers to the type of advertisement being run on a particular platform, usually a search engine, CPC stands for Cost Per Click, and is the amount of money you will pay the search engine every time someone clicks on your advertisement.

PPC adverts are usually run on search engines such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Google Paid Search has become synonymous with PPC because it’s the biggest and most popular advertising platform in the world. Essentially PPC is a way to buy visits to your website instead of earning them organically through SEO techniques, which we’ll discuss later.

Whether or not your business’ advert is presented to a potential customer depends on the keywords that they type into the search engine in question. For example, if you have taken out a paid-for advert via Google Paid Search for your painting and repair business in Florida and your advertisement has the keywords “painting and repair” and “Florida” and someone types in the search term “Painting and repair business in Florida”, it will pick up on those keywords.

However, because “painting and repair” and “Florida” are such general terms, there is probably a lot of competition for them, which means you’ll pay more per click. That’s why advertisers and business owners conduct keyword research. The goal is to find out which industry-related search terms people are searching for and try to pick the ones which are relevant to the product or service, but which don’t have as much competition. This allows for a lower CPC in PPC campaigns and helps business owners get more exposure online for less investment.

Your CPC, or the amount that you pay every time someone clicks on your ad should be small enough that the customer’s visit is worth more than the fee. In other words, if you paid $2.50 for the click and the visit converts into a sale worth $200, that’s almost a 1000% profit.

Therefore, advertisers need to bid for keywords that are relevant and in line with their budget. Because Google wants to show its customers the most relevant search results possible, advertisers who select the most relevant keywords to the landing page of the product or service that the advert leads to and create highly organized, well-researched ad campaigns will be rewarded. The rewards are in the form of lower costs per click and higher search engine result page rankings.

PPC vs SEO: What’s the Difference

There are two ways to market your business through search engines like Google: PPC and SEO. Although the end result of gaining visitors to your website is the same, SEO and PPC marketing differ in the tactics that they use to attract customers and where they appear on the search engine results page (SERP). Marketing through SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, entails gaining visitors to your website organically, i.e. without having to pay for it, by using various techniques and strategies to improve your website’s SEO ranking. Various factors determine a website’s SEO ranking or what position it appears on the SERP.

PPC is instant — as soon as you start running your ad you will be able to see it at the top of the page on Google. SEO takes a lot more time and effort before you start seeing results. Generally, it takes about 6-9 months before you start seeing results, which means that if you aren’t persistent, your ranking might start to drop. Even though PPC adverts are instant, your campaign will only run as long as you have specified.

PPC vs SEO: Which Is the Best form of Marketing for A Small Business?

One advantage that PPC has over SEO is that you can target potential customers in specific geographic locations by using location-based keywords and chances are that if you’re a small business owner, you’ll want to target people near you. However, if you want to rank locally using SEO, you will have to make sure that your business name, address, and phone number are the same across all platforms.

As previously mentioned, SEO takes a lot longer to see results whereas PPC is instantaneous. Some SEO tactics include on-page optimization, blogging and backlink building which all require a lot of time and effort to execute. The person implementing these tactics also generally needs to have a good understanding of SEO and on-page ranking metrics so that they are able to determine whether their tactics are actually working. Taking all this into consideration, SEO might not be the best marketing strategy for small businesses who need results fast and can’t afford to wait for SEO to pay off.

That said, the long term investment into SEO should eventually pay off. Once your website consistently ranks high organically for local search terms, you won’t need to pay for every potential customer visiting your site. If your website stays high in organic search results, you might actually attract more traffic to your website with SEO compared to PPC.

So what’s better between PPC vs SEO will depend largely on your business marketing strategy and current needs. A combination is usually best for optimal results.

How to Get Started with Paid Advertising Online

The most popular out of all paid advertising channels is Google Ads. Google is by far the most popular search engine globally, so it makes sense to advertise on a platform where more people will see your ad. Through the Google Ads platform, you can easily measure your ROI and see which ads are performing well, as well as which aren’t. This can help you determine which campaigns you want to continue running.

Within PPC advertising, there are two types of ads: search network and display network. Search network ads are those ads you see at the top of your search engine results page when you type in a search term on Google. They look almost identical to the organic search results except for the fact that they say “ad” next to them. These are the most common types of PPC ads.

Display ads are less conspicuous than network ads — they look a lot more like ads. They consist of banner ads that appear on other websites that people visit and they are used to retarget potential customers. So, if you were browsing shoes on Amazon this morning but didn’t purchase anything or placed an item in your cart but failed to check out, chances are that later that day, you’ll be targeted with a banner ad for shoes. This way, companies can encourage potential customers to converting customers. These banner ads on other sites are called display ads.

Because banner ads are visual, they generally require someone with graphic design knowledge to design them and small businesses rarely have a graphic designer employed but of course this depends on the nature of the business. For this reason, a lot of business owners might prefer to use search network ads rather than display ads.

Creating Ads and Finding the Right Keywords

You will need to physically create PPC ads on Google Ads. Search ads are formatted with two headlines and a description with the option to add extensions which include extra information such as sale or promotion information which will entice potential customers to visit your website.

But before you create a PPC search ad, you will first need to conduct keyword research and in order to do this, you will need to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. This helps to determine what sort of search term they would enter if they were looking for the product or service that your business is selling. You can then enter this search term into the Google Ads keyword planner.

Make sure to narrow down the term as much as possible. If you are a business that sells shoes, don’t just use the keyword “shoes”, it’s too broad and there will be a huge amount of competition for it. You can try including the location of your business, as well as the type of shoes you sell.

Once you have come up with a few options to rank for, you will need to do some competitor research to check what kind of keywords your competitors are ranking for. This can seem daunting and you may want to enlist the help of a professional paid search specialist to help you with this.

Determining which keywords to use is the most important part of creating a search ad because it will dictate which kinds of visitors you attract to your website and whether or not those visitors will convert to customers, so it’s a good idea to do thorough research before spending money on clicks that don’t result in any sales.

To avoid wasting money on ads that don’t convert, it’s always best to hire an digital marketing firm with PPC and keyword research experience.

Rozanne WildsPPC vs SEO: Which Is Best for Small Businesses?
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Is Content Marketing Worth It? The Truth About Content

If you’ve looked into online marketing for your business, there’s no doubt you’ve heard about the benefits of blogging for business. Content marketing has become a more popular form of marketing for small and large companies alike. The purpose of content is to serve as part of the company’s lead funnel in an inbound marketing strategy. The basic principle is that the content should draw in leads, whereas other marketing elements, such as CTAs and email lists, serve to convert new leads into customers. But is content marketing worth it? Will your business really be able to increase sales with content, or should you be spending your marketing budget elsewhere?

Why Businesses Choose Content

A lot of businesses have found that traditional advertising avenues are producing poorer results in the current marketing landscape. In an age where traditional advertising is becoming less popular, businesses are turning to marketing choices that are more interactive and transparent.

The idea of content marketing is that it will help improve your brand’s public image by providing value to your prospects. This value is usually in the form of informative or entertaining blog posts and e-books.

I reality, however, content marketing can be either a great investment or a complete waste of time. There are various things that you’ll need to consider before investing in content marketing. Yes, a content strategy can deliver excellent ROI, but if it’s not implemented correctly, you might just be wasting valuable resources.

Benefits of Content Marketing

It’s good to know the potential benefits of content marketing before looking at how to implement a content marketing strategy.

One of the biggest advantages of content marketing is that is can be reasonably affordable. When compared to other advertising mediums, content marketing delivers better long-term results. That’s because a piece of content will stay on your blog or website long after it’s first published and can continue offering value.

Conversely, traditional ad campaigns stop offering value the moment the campaign ends, as your message is no longer being carried out to the public.

Content is one of the best ways to attract new traffic to your business website. Content can be shared across your social media platforms and shared in your email newsletters to help your attract traffic from various sources.

Some Content Will Perform Better

Although content does offer better long-term value than traditional ads, what many people fail to realize is that content only offers value if it ranks high in search. If your content isn’t displaying on the first page of search engine results for your chosen keywords, you might not get any traffic from it at all.

According to research by HubSpot, only 1 in 10 blog posts attract more search engine traffic as time goes by. The other 9 might attract less search engine traffic over time, or never attract a notable amount of traffic at all.

Larry Kim from Wordstream has a concept he calls “marketing unicorns”. He noted that 1-3% of online marketing efforts yield 70% of results. The highly successful 1-3% is what Larry has decided to call marketing unicorns.

When looking at HubSpot and Larry Kim’s observations, it’s clear that a lot of the resources you put into content won’t deliver as much as you’d hope. But content pieces that do deliver, should make up for lost ground.

That said, both these observations come from well-respected marketers who know how to implement an effective content marketing strategy. If your content marketing strategy isn’t effective, you may not get any results whatsoever.

Using Content for Lead Generation

Another issue with content marketing is the issue of lead generation. Content often helps build your business’ online reputation. It serves as a great way to help businesses interact with their audience and gain exposure.

But there’s no use in consistently offering valuable content to your audience if you aren’t getting a return on your investment. In other words, your content marketing strategy might cost more than it’s really worth if you don’t integrate it into your lead funnel.

There’s no use investing more in your content marketing strategy than you’re getting out of it. Your business needs more than an enhanced brand online, you want that brand awareness to directly lead to more business opportunities.

Creating Content that Converts

When it comes to creating content that converts, your goal should be to have your content serve as an entry point into your lead funnel. For starters, this would mean that you need a lead funnel to start with.

Too many businesses invest in content that doesn’t make up any part of their lead generation funnel. If this is you, you’ll get little or no leads and sales from your content, even if it’s attracting thousands of visitors to your website.

Your content should serve to win over the trust of your prospective customers. Once people trust and know your brand, there should be a plan in place to help you win new customers.

The best way to do this is by collecting email addresses and building an email list. If your content can help you build an email list, you’ll have a dedicated audience of returning visitors to your website. You can send out emails to notify your email subscribers of discounts on your products or services to encourage sales.

It’s not to say this is the only way you can attract sales from your content strategy, but you should have a similar plan in place to reap the rewords.

When Isn’t Content Effective for Marketing?

Although content marketing can be highly effective, it might not be suitable for all businesses. This is an important thing to take note of. Too many business owners are led to believe content can work for any industry, but that’s simply not true.

The most valuable thing you can hope to gain from your content marketing is organic website traffic. Organic website traffic is any traffic that comes directly from search engines.

To get traffic from search engines, your blog posts have to rank in the top pages of search engine results for popular keywords.

Here’s the problem – most businesses can find ways to create content that targets popular searches, but not all.

If you work in a highly specialized industry and you’re unable to focus your content around popular search queries, you won’t get results.

The good news is that it’s possible to come up with some great content ideas even for specialized businesses, the bad news is that there might be an odd few businesses that just can’t make content work.

When coming up with content ideas, it’s crucial that the search queries you target have the potential to attract potential customers. However, some businesses have a customer pool that’s so small or so specialized, attracting relevant traffic would be incredibly challenging. There are some great ways to work around such challenges in most industries, but there’s a point where the rewards can start to outweigh the investment, in which case it’s no longer worth it.

Conclusion: Is Content Marketing Worth It?

So, is content marketing worth it, or will you be wasting your marketing budget?

The answer is that content marketing can definitely be worth it, but only if you have a solid plan to attract customers from your content.

The important thing about implementing content marketing for your business is to monitor your results. If your content isn’t attracting any traffic, you need to rethink your strategy. While it can take time for your content to start delivering results, you don’t want to endlessly invest in content. If you still aren’t getting results, even thousands of dollars spent and years of trying, you’ll either need to adapt your strategy or abandon content marketing altogether.

However, most businesses can benefit from a good content strategy, so adapting your strategy might be all that’s needed.

Rozanne WildsIs Content Marketing Worth It? The Truth About Content
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Benefits of SEO for Small Businesses

SEO stands for search engine optimization. When optimizing a website for search engines, there’s a focus on attracting relevant traffic. But what does SEO entail and what are the benefits of SEO for small businesses? A lot of business owners mistakenly believe that SEO is irrelevant to their marketing. However, a well-optimized website can deliver excellent results for businesses.

Can SEO Help Your Business?

The short answer is yes, definitely.

SEO is all about helping your website rank on search engines like Google. So, if your website is optimized for search, it will show up on the first pages of search engines whenever people search for your product or service.

There are various SEO tactics that digital marketing companies use to help improve website SEO, these include:

  • The use of relevant keywords throughout your website copy
  • Relevant link building tactics to improve your website’s domain authority
  • Skilled SEO web development
  • Regularly updating your website with new content

If your website is properly optimized for SEO, you’ll be able to attract traffic from relevant internet searches.

For instance, if your business is in the construction industry, your website SEO will be focused on attracting traffic from search queries related to building and construction. Better yet, your SEO can focus on attracting traffic from search queries from people looking for construction in your area.

This is the basic principle of how SEO can help your business. But there’s more to SEO than meets the eye. Aside from increased search engine traffic, an SEO website can offer more advantages.

Benefits of SEO for Small Business

Many small business owners view SEO as an advanced marketing technique that requires a big budget. But SEO isn’t a marketing strategy that’s reserved for fortune 500 companies. Small businesses can also benefit from relevant SEO marketing. These some of the benefits of SEO for small businesses.

Increase Organic Website Traffic

If someone visits your website by clicking a non-sponsored listing directly from their search engine, this person is supplying organic traffic to your website. In other words, your website can get organic traffic for free if it’s optimized for search.

Other forms of traffic to your website can include:

  • Paid traffic: This is when someone visits your website by clicking a sponsored listing on Google, or an ad on social media. Basically, any traffic you get through paid online advertising is paid traffic.
  • Social traffic: If you promote your website on social media (i.e. your Facebook page, business Twitter account or Pinterest) and people click your social links to arrive at your website, this is called social traffic.
  • Referral traffic: This is traffic from sources that aren’t search engines or social media sites. If your business is on local business directory and people click a link to your website from the directory, that’s a source of referral traffic.
  • Email traffic: If your business has an email marketing newsletter with links that refer people to your website, that’s a source of email traffic.

Some other traffic sources to your site can also be direct (where people paste your website URL directly into their browsers) or unknown.

Of all the different kinds of web traffic you can get, organic traffic is the best. That’s because organic traffic is free and you won’t need to constantly promote your website on social media or in email newsletters to keep a consistent amount of traffic coming in.

SEO is the only way to improve your website’s indexability in search engines.

User-friendly Websites

An important aspect of a website that’s optimized for search is that it must be user friendly. Search engine crawlers look at critical data such as website loading times when selecting what websites to display in top search results.

A website that’s too slow to load will turn many people off, so it’s important that your business website is optimized for quick loading times.

Another thing to consider is how responsive your website is. Nowadays, so many people are using mobile devices like phones and tablets to browse the internet. Search engines try to give users the best possible experience by only listing websites that display well across all different devices.

Getting a user-friendly website that’s developed specially for search engines is one area where getting professional SEO help is most necessary. Your website’s functionality is at the core of all your other SEO efforts.

SEO Can Be Local or Global

Your website SEO can be focused around attracting traffic from your local area. So if your business operates locally, your SEO can focus on attracting local people who are potential customers to your website.

There are some great options available, like Google My Business and Bing Local to help local businesses even more in attracting customers that are situated in the area.

On the other hand, many businesses can benefit from attracting traffic from all over the world. Hotels, travel companies and software providers don’t need to stick to local SEO because their customers could be anywhere in the world. In such an instance, these businesses can benefit from an SEO strategy that’s will attract relevant traffic from all over the world.

SEO Builds Trust

Any business can have a website or Facebook page, but not any business can rank on the first pages of search engines for industry-specific searches.

This is one of the major benefits of SEO for small businesses. Even small businesses can rank high for popular search terms. Once your website becomes a known source of information for your industry, customers will trust your brand.

SEO Only Gets Better

As mentioned, a lot of marketing tactics to attract website traffic are temporary. You might see a spike in web traffic after sending out a marketing email, or publishing a Facebook post, but the results won’t last.

Long-term SEO strategies such as content marketing, deliver results for longer. In many cases, the traffic you get to your best blog posts will only grow over time, not diminish. The great thing about this is that you still only pay once, but can reap the benefits of a good content piece for years to come.

Similarly, a website that’s designed with SEO and user-friendliness in mind, won’t stop delivering results right after it goes live. On the contrary, your business website should grow over time as a marketing asset for your company.

SEO Is Affordable

Of all the benefits of SEO for small business, this is one you might not have expected. But SEO is a cheaper form of marketing compared to many alternatives.

When you take into consideration that your business can keep enjoying the benefits of SEO long after your first investment, your initial input costs become so much less.

If you compare SEO to placing advertisements in local newspapers, or running ad campaigns on radio or television, SEO delivers a much better ROI.

Another benefit is that an SEO website opens up more marketing opportunities. You can use your website as a hub to direct your social media followers to your sales pages, or to get email subscribers and grow your marketing reach.

How to Do SEO for Your Business

When starting out with SEO for your business, having a website that’s well-optimized should be your first priority. There are various ways to go about getting a website. Some businesses opt for a website builder such as Squarespace. However, building your own website on this kind of platform usually isn’t a good long-term choice.

The best, most reliable platform to build a website is a self-hosted WordPress site. The good thing about WordPress is that it’s reasonably easy to use, even for beginners. There are some premium themes available that allow business owners to build their own websites quite easily at a low cost.

The problem is that even on an easy-to-use website builder, it takes skill to craft a great SEO website. You want your website to look good and be highly functional. Doing everything yourself will require a lot of skills such as graphics design, web design and more.

The easiest way to get a great SEO website is to hire an experienced web design company to handle the project for you.

The great thing about WordPress is that you can start off with a budget website you built yourself, and save for a more sophisticated SEO site while you already have your website up. You won’t need to migrate your website from one platform to another once you’re ready to invest in web development services.

Rozanne WildsBenefits of SEO for Small Businesses
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How to Create a Content Strategy for Small Business

With the rise of the internet, the way people consume information has revolutionized. Before people had instant access to information via search engines and online content, most people relied on books and consultations with experts to answer questions. Nowadays, it’s unthinkable to have questions that you can’t answer immediately. With the click of a button, you can get all your questions answered – often by a qualified expert.

With the demand for quality content on the rise, many businesses are taking it as an opportunity to market their expertise. SEO delivers one of the highest ROIs of any online marketing channel and content is often at the center of more organic traffic. Regardless, many small to medium sized business owners feel left in the dark, not knowing how to create a content strategy for their businesses.

What is a Content Marketing Strategy?

Content marketing is a way to establish yourself as an expert in your industry and gain new customers online. As the name implies, content marketing is done by creating and distributing content. This content must be aimed at answering important questions that consumers have regarding your product or service.

In the same way experts give advice and tips during trade shows, or conduct interviews with journalists to contribute to newspaper and magazine articles, online content is a way of promoting your business by providing potential customers with valuable information.

Online content can take many forms, but most businesses start by publishing blog posts. Other forms of online marketing include videos, podcasts, infographics, webinars and more.

A content strategy is the thoughtful planning, creation, publishing and promotion of your content online. For a blog, this could include planning post topics ahead of time and implementing methods to optimize posts for search. Your content marketing strategy could also include methods of promoting your content on various platforms, such as social media.

Why Is a Content Strategy Important?

Businesses value content marketing because it often delivers outstanding results. Good content can increase sales and lower marketing costs. It can also help businesses acquire more loyal customers. This is because businesses who publish regular content establish a voice for themselves and develop their brand image positively.

Another benefit is that content marketing is focused on attracting target customers to you. Many traditional forms of advertising (such as television ads and cold calling) are disruptive and annoying. By publishing helpful content, potential customers will feel like your business is focused on assisting them, rather than just making sales. This will cause customers to view your product as being more valuable.

According to Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is cheaper than paid search and delivers a better ROI. Content marketing is also better than outbound marketing, as it delivers three times more leads at 62% the cost.

How to Create a Content Strategy

Developing a content strategy might seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. When setting out your content strategy, there are some key questions you need to answer:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • Where are they located?
  • What are your content marketing goals?
  • How often will you publish new content?

Your target audience will typically be potential customers. If you already know who your potential customers are, you can craft your content around what they will find helpful.

Knowing where your target audience is located is important in terms of optimizing your content for local SEO. While you don’t have to focus every blog post you publish around your location, it’s good to occasionally publish one that’s optimized for local search.

As far as content marketing goals are concerned, it’s good to have some clarity. Do you want your content to help you get new subscribers for your newsletter? Are you interested in getting more organic traffic from search engines through content marketing? Setting clear goals regarding how much traffic you want to attract to your website will give you something clear to work towards.

Just remember to be realistic. You’re unlikely to get 100 new website visitors straight off the bat. That said, you should go in with expectations for your content to perform. There’s no sense in committing to a content strategy if you aren’t working towards a measurable result.

Keeping Your Content up to Date

A lot of small businesses underestimate the work that goes into planning and implementing a content strategy. Content marketing takes effort. It’s easy to start on a content marketing strategy, only for your efforts to fizzle out as time goes by.

The result? Countless businesses have “ghost blogs” which haven’t been updated for more than a year.

When planning a content strategy for small business, you must make your content strategy doable if you want to prevent your blog from dying out. Be sure you put the following in place:

  • Assign the responsibility of your content strategy to an employee
  • Plan your content calendar at least three months in advance
  • Set up weekly or biweekly meetings to discuss your content strategy progress

A lot of small business owners take the responsibility of content marketing on themselves. While there’s nothing wrong with business owners writing their own content, this DIY approach often fails. To prevent content efforts from fizzling out, business owners must be accountable to someone for content. Because of this, it’s good to put an employee in charge of managing your content, even if you plan to write your own blog posts.

Planning Content Promotion

Too many small businesses publish content online only to feel disappointed with the results. New content often drives little traffic. Sometimes content doesn’t drive any traffic at all.

As a rule, a new business blog won’t drive a lot of traffic. A lot of online marketers have noted a trend where Google favors blogs with more blog posts. There’s no magic number for how many posts a blog needs to get listed in Google (some say it’s around 50) but 10 or less definitely won’t do the trick.

Unfortunately, too many small business owners give up on content marketing before even reaching 10 posts. Yes, it takes some perseverance to see results from content marketing, but that doesn’t mean your posts can’t drive traffic for you in the meantime.

By setting together a strategy to promote your content, you can drive traffic from sources other than Google. Promote new content on social media channels and your email newsletter. Share your blog posts on forums (or on Facebook and LinkedIn groups) if they serve as an answer to someone’s question. Get creative about how you’ll draw traffic to your website with your blog posts and keep consistently posting to gain a devoted following!

Measuring Your Content Marketing ROI

A lot of small businesses might give up on content because they feel like it’s not delivering good ROI. In some cases, this is true. Simply publishing content isn’t enough. Content must be strategically planned to reach goals.

The best place to start is by setting a goal for how much website traffic you want to get from your content. Set a realistic goal to begin with, something like 10 website visitors for every new post within the first month.

There are great tools that you can use to help measure website traffic. The most popular tool to measure website traffic is Google analytics. WordPress also offers its users some basic data on web traffic, which you can gain easy access to by installing the Jetpack plugin on your site.

While there are a lot of tools to help businesses gain more complex insights into web traffic, small businesses can focus on the basics when starting and build on the complexity of their analytics as they go along.

A basic tool like the built-in tracking metrics on WordPress should be good enough for most small business owners to begin with. Once a small business reaches the first small goal, they can set another, more complex one.

Outsourcing Small Business Content Marketing

Creating a content marketing strategy for small business is well within reach. Although it will take time to learn how to create content that ranks in search engines, gain an online following and measure results, it’s something that small business owners can learn over time.

A lot of small businesses aren’t interested in learning how to create a content strategy. Small business owners and employees often have a lot of their plates even without marketing. Busy schedules often leave no time to plan and implement a content strategy.

Outsourcing content is a great option for many small businesses. When outsourcing content, it’s always best to work with a professional online marketing company or experienced individual.

While there are cheap alternatives, such as hiring on an online marketplace, the quality of the content is usually remarkably poor and won’t generate results. It’s almost better to have no content than what you can get from an online marketplace. In the same way good content can help you stand out as an expert in your industry, poor content will make your business look bad.

Investing in quality content is a worthwhile. As an added benefit, professional online marketers have experience using more complex tracking metrics and marketing tactics.

Rozanne WildsHow to Create a Content Strategy for Small Business
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Online vs Offline Marketing ROI Comparison

Most small to medium sized business owners have limited financial resources to allocate to marketing. Sure, fortune 500 companies have seemingly infinite budgets for both on- and offline marketing campaigns, but that’s not how things work in the world of small business. With limited resources, marketing budgets must be spent on campaigns that deliver. ROI is at the front and center of every small business marketing choice. With that in mind, small business owners are usually interested in a comparison between online vs offline marketing ROI. Here’s what you need to know.

The Difference Between Online and Offline Marketing

The difference between online and offline marketing is quite simple, so there’s no need to explain it in detail, but just in case you’re uncertain, they can be defined as follows.

Offline marketing, also called traditional advertising is any marketing campaign or strategy that isn’t on the internet. This could include billboards and posters, as well as ads on the radio, television and in local newspapers and magazines.

Online marketing, also called digital marketing, is any form of marketing on the internet. This could include social media and Google ads, as well as content and email marketing.

The difference is simple, but measuring how ROI differs across various platforms can be more complicated. This is exactly why choosing between digital vs traditional marketing avenues can leave many business owners scratching their heads.

Measuring ROI on Marketing Campaigns

One of the benefits of online marketing vs traditional marketing is that it enables businesses to better measure the ROI from online campaigns. Tracking metrics can tell business owners how much traffic their websites are getting from search engines. As an added benefit, business owners can also see what search phrases people used to find them online.

But measuring the efficacy of campaigns can extend even further. With the right tools, some business owners even track how many website visitors are converted to customers. Not all business owners can track online conversion rates with 100% accuracy, so it’s not always entirely clear-cut. Even so, it’s easy to get feedback consisting of real, hard data from digital marketing efforts.

In contrast, measuring ROI from offline marketing can be a bit like an educated guessing game. Imagine you put up a poster. How do you know if potential customers phoning your business saw your poster, or if they got your number off the internet? In most cases, you don’t. The only way you can know for sure is by asking people who phone how they found your business, which will annoy some of your potential customers.

Measurable ≠ Better by Default

Yes, digital marketing success is easier to track, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better by default.

Tracking metrics aren’t beneficial unless you use them to improve your strategy. Incidentally, that’s where digital stands head and shoulders above traditional. Data collected from digital campaigns can be used to improve them.

Too many business owners are so pleased to have accurate tracking metrics, they forget to apply their results to their marketing! Simply seeing real numbers can be deceiving, and can lead business owners to believe they’re getting a better ROI on their efforts than they actually are.

Conversely, just because you don’t know how many customers you’re getting from offline ads, doesn’t mean you aren’t getting any. For all you know, you’re benefiting more from your offline marketing than your online campaigns.

To get the best out of any marketing campaign, it’s good to have tracking metrics. Having data to analyze will show you what worked, allowing you to improve your strategy.

Online vs Offiline Marketing ROI: Where Should You Invest More?

The best marketing channels to use will differ from one business to another. Some businesses might find that SEO is the absolute best form of online marketing for them, while others might benefit more from simply handing out leaflets.

For local small to medium sized businesses, it’s important to keep the focus of online marketing on attracting a local audience. Offline marketing can also be a great way to get interest from the community.

Investing in at least some online marketing is more essential now than ever before. But establishing the right balance between online vs offline marketing will often yield the best overall results.

Local Marketing Options

When trying to market a business locally (both online and off) the focus should be on marketing to a local audience. Some of the best ways to market a business locally include:

  • A business website that’s optimized for local SEO
  • Using free local SEO services such as Google My Business and Bing Places for Business
  • PPC campaigns
  • Social media
  • Print media, like leaflets, posters and banners

Using a combination of different marketing channels can help to promote your business to a larger audience. Your target market will also influence what marketing channels you can benefit from most.

A Business Website and SEO

Almost any local business can benefit from having their own website. To benefit from a business website, it must be SEO optimized, as this will help to bring in organic traffic from search engines.

Optimizing for local SEO can include methods such as keyword optimization and content marketing through blogging. Another important way to optimize your business website for SEO is to ensure your website is responsive – meaning it displays well on all devices.

Local SEO Services

Making use of services like Google My Business is a great way to get customers online. A lot of internet users will only look at Google My Business profiles before choosing what company to buy from.

The great thing about a listing on Google My Business is that you can link to your own website from the platform. You can add your company contact details to your profile, giving customers an easy way to phone or email you.

PPC Marketing

PPC stands for pay per click. As the name implies, it’s a form of online marketing where your ads are displayed to an audience, but you only pay every time your ad is clicked. PPC advertising is available on various platforms, such as Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon.

One of the best platforms for PPC advertising is Google Adwords. Although ads on other platforms can also offer a good ROI, Adwords is the most logical place to start for most businesses. Google sees a lot of search volume. Seeing as most people who search for businesses online do so using Google, there’s a lot of potential for new customers to find you.

Print Media Marketing

Printed leaflets aren’t ideal for all businesses, but some can benefit. While people are less likely to make big buying choices based on a leaflet (think furniture, cars, houses etc.) local businesses like supermarkets and restaurants can see good ROI if advertising things like opening specials or other promotions through leaflets.

Posters are a popular means of advertising in the entertainment and leisure industry. Events like music concerts, weekend farmer’s markets and even trade shows can benefit from using posters and banners.

Not a lot of people still read local newspapers, but reading the paper is still popular among older demographics. Businesses that typically have older customers (audiologists, health care practitioners etc.) can benefit greatly from advertising promotions in the local newspaper.

Global Marketing Options

A lot of businesses can benefit from targeting a global audience, even if they operate locally. A good example is businesses involved in tourism. Other businesses operate almost exclusively online and can benefit from attracting an international client base.

Businesses looking to attract an international audience can benefit from having a business website and optimizing for SEO. Other forms of online marketing, such as social media, PPC and even email newsletters can also be beneficial.

Unlike local businesses, however, companies looking to attract customers from all over the world won’t benefit much from local print media. When targeting a global client base, it’s best to keep all your marketing accessible to potential customers the world over.


Online marketing is a better investment for most modern business models. When working with a limited marketing budget, it’s important to focus on online channels that are likely to yield good results.

Free options like Google My Business profiles and Facebook pages allow all local and international businesses the opportunity to get found online at no expense. When looking at paid online marketing, businesses should strongly consider getting their own website, in which case SEO is a worthwhile investment.

Although online marketing is largely taking over more traditional options, a lot of businesses can still benefit from certain forms of traditional advertising.

Rozanne WildsOnline vs Offline Marketing ROI Comparison
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Local SEO vs Organic SEO: How to Choose?

It’s no secret that the internet has drastically transformed society. From social media changing the way we stay in touch with friends, to email reforming our business communication. Local marketing is no exception. In the past, phonebook listings and local adverts were some of the best ways to market businesses locally. These days, people are far more likely to search for local businesses online. This means the best way to advertise a local business is to make sure people can find it in online searches.

Search engine optimization (or SEO for short) has helped countless businesses attract clients. However, not all practices are the same. When looking at SEO, there’s a distinct difference between local SEO vs organic SEO. What your business needs most will depend on several factors, but a lot of businesses can benefit most from a combination local and organic SEO techniques.

What Is SEO for Businesses?

Before distinguishing between local and organic SEO, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what SEO entails. As the term “search engine optimization” suggests, SEO is the practice of improving a website with the goal of helping search engines list it.

Some common strategies to help a business website list in relevant searches include:

  • Adding enough relevant keywords in the website content
  • Establishing and managing a business social media presence
  • Optimizing the company website to offer a user-friendly experience
  • Listing a company in relevant business directories

This is only a short summary of what SEO entails. Entire books can be written on each one of the above-mentioned points. Search engine algorithms are always changing, and so SEO practices must also adapt to accommodate new criteria set by search engines for indexability.

Regardless, there are certain facets of SEO that remain stable. For instance, the inclusion of keywords in website content is always advantageous. Search engines scan website texts in order to find phrases and words relevant to searches. Although the use of relevant keywords isn’t the only thing search engines look at when choosing the most relevant search results, it will always remain an important part of SEO.

Local SEO vs Organic SEO: What’s the Difference?

Understanding the concept of SEO helps to distinguish between local and organic SEO techniques. Although both forms of SEO focus on helping a website list in searches, the main difference is the audience local SEO will attract vs organic SEO.

What is Local SEO?

Quite simply, local SEO is focused around helping a business attract website traffic from local searches. Local searches in this context simply means that the searches are specific to a location. The exact location of the search could be as broad as a whole country, or as narrow as a specific town.

Examples of local searches could include the following:

  • Tourist attractions in the United States
  • Car insurance in South Carolina
  • Web design services in Miami, FL

The first example is a local search, but not a very specific one. Results will be relevant to the specific place mentioned in the search, but in this case the “place” in question is the whole US. As a result, listings could include geographic locations from any state or city. That’s not very helpful for someone looking to tour only a specific part of the country.

In the second example, the place mentioned in the search is the state of South Carolina. Getting listed for searches specific to a state is much more useful for most businesses. A lot of companies only operate in one state and are looking to attract customers from that region.

The third example focuses on both the state and the city in which the business operates. A lot of small to medium sized businesses only operate in one town or city. A local bakery, for instance, will target customers from the city where it operates. In such a case, there’s no use attracting potential customers that are too far out of the town where the business is located.

In practice, this means that local SEO aims to help local businesses attract clientele. Just how local the SEO will be, depends on the needs of a specific business.

What is Organic SEO?

Organic SEO is all about listing a website for specific keywords or phrases. Unlike with local SEO, the keywords you’re trying to list the website for might not be specific to a region.

Here are some examples of organic SEO keywords people might search for:

  • How to get more sleep
  • Best apple pie recipes
  • Happy songs to listen to

The important thing here is that none of these search phrases target a specific place. They’re all general searches. People from all over the world could search for these things. The content a search engine lists in the results can also originate from any country.

Theoretically, organic SEO searches have the potential to bring in far more website traffic, but website visitors can be from any place in the world – not just locally.

For businesses, listing in organic searches often means to list in industry-specific searches rather than location-specific ones. A plumber might have website content that shows up in a search for “how to fix a leaky tap?”, for instance.

The benefit of listing for general search terms isn’t necessarily attracting more customers directly. Instead, having content that lists for industry-related search queries can help you establish yourself as an expert in your industry. In turn, this will cause potential customers to see your company as a trustworthy business in your industry.

The Difference Between Local SEO and Organic SEO Listings

Till now, the main focus was to explain the difference between local and organic SEO in terms of local vs general enquiries. However, there’s another difference between local and organic search – Google’s listing format.

When searching for a term such as “car insurance in South Carolina” Google has a special section to list local businesses that suit the criteria of the search. After these local results, there are also some normal Google listings, which you can find underneath the first three results.

Local SEO listings on Google

Google has a local listing format which is integrated with Maps and other Google services.

The first three listings are local businesses and they have a physical address linking to Google Maps – these are local listings. All the subsequent listings are location-specific organic listings. This can seem confusing at first. After all, can’t all listings for location-specific searches just be local listings?

Organic listings

Google also has organic listings for location-specific searches. These listings will usually be relevant to a local search query, but they aren’t integrated with Maps.

To clear up the confusion, it’s important to understand that only Google has separate listing formats for local vs organic listings. Other search engines, such as DuckDuckGo and Bing only have the organic listings in their results.

Google’s “local listings” section is actually filled with results from a Google service called “Google My Business”. So actually “local listings” can also be called “Google My Business listings”. Essentially, the difference between local and organic listings is simply where Google gets them from.

Local listings are from Google My Business, specifically. When opened, a local listing will display a company’s Google My Business profile and its location on Google Maps.

Organic listings can be from all over the internet. Quite often, organic listings link directly to the websites of relevant local businesses. Organic listings can also link to social media profiles or online business directories.

More About Google My Business Listings

The Google My Business service is almost like Google’s own version of a business directory. It’s a service Google offers to help local businesses get found online. Google My Business is integrated with other Google services like Google Maps and Google Reviews. This allows customers to easily get a good overview of a local business. As an added benefit, a business can also link to their business website directly from the GMB listing.

The fact that Google My Business is integrated with Google Maps allows users to quickly search for local businesses. Google will then list results based on the location of the user in proximity to  relevant local business. Users can then use their GPS on Maps to travel to the location of the address listed on Google for a specific business

Local SEO vs Organic SEO: What Does Your Business Need?

Understanding the difference between local and organic SEO can help you decide what’s best for your business. Generally though, a combination of both local and organic SEO is best.

Seeing as most search engines only have the organic listing section, showing up in location-specific organic results can boost your business substantially. Getting your business website listed for searches that are specific to both your industry and location is still considered local SEO. You’re targeting a local audience with local searches. It’s simply a form of local SEO which aims at improving where your website lists in organic results.

On the other hand, listing for search terms that are related to your industry rather than location is also helpful. Listing in results for common queries customers might have establishes your business website as a trustworthy source of information for both search engines and potential customers.

If more of your business website content appears in searches, your website will become more indexable for future searches as well. As a result, your website can also be more likely to appear in location-specific searches. So, to conclude, local and organic SEO practices and techniques can and ideally should compliment each other to help your business attract customers online.

Rozanne WildsLocal SEO vs Organic SEO: How to Choose?
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How to Do Online Marketing for Your Business

Online marketing is fast becoming one of the most essential marketing channels. Every business of every size – whether it be a large corporate company or a family owned shop – can benefit from online marketing. But the world of online marketing is competitive and ever-changing. Search engines are always updating their algorithms and social sites are constantly add and remove features.

With so much change, it’s difficult to know how to do online marketing for your business. Perhaps you already have an online presence that you want to boost, or perhaps your business isn’t even online yet. Whichever way it goes, it’s never too late to establish an online presence for your company and reap the rewards of your marketing efforts.

The Basics of Online Marketing

Before diving into just how to do online marketing for your business, there are a few basics terms you must know. Knowing the terms below could help you gain a better understanding of online marketing concepts while doing research to improve your strategy.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a widely used term for a marketing strategy that involves attracting customers to your business via techniques that will help customers who already want your product or service find you. This is opposed to driving customers away with unwanted marketing material. Offering value to potential customers via your marketing materials is an important part of inbound marketing.

The opposite of inbound marketing is called interruption marketing. As the term suggests, interruption marketing techniques are unsolicited and completely unwelcomed by your audience. An example of interruption marketing a TV advert that shows during your favorite show, or a marketing phone call.

Online, interruption marketing could include ads that play while you’re trying to watch online videos, or the promotional content in your social media news feeds.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

As the name implies, search engine optimization is all about improving your website to help it rank in search results.


This is a common abbreviation for search engine results pages. Ideally, you want your website to rank in the top SERPs, as most users never go further than the first results page.

Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing is a broader term than SEO. It’s used to describe any marketing that’s intended to help your website show on Google – regardless if you’re paying for ads, or showing up in organic search results.

Pay per click (PPC)

Also called cost per click advertising, this is a form of paid online advertising where your advert is displayed in search engine results or on social media sites. As the name suggests, you pay every time an individual clicks your advert. PPC is the most widely used form of paid online advertising. The benefit of PPC is that you only pay for results, so you can get a much better return on your investment. Alternatively, you could pay for impressions, which means you pay for every person who sees your ad. This form on paid online advertising is called cost per impression, and it’s abbreviated as CPM (You might be wondering why it isn’t abbreviated as CP.

There’s still a lot of other online marketing terms that aren’t listed above, but the terms listed here should give you a good overall understanding of online marketing concepts going forward.

Why Inbound is the Best Form of Online Marketing

If you’re a small to medium sized business trying to get real leads from your online marketing, you’ll get a much better return on investment if you opt for inbound. That’s because inbound marketing is aimed at attracting people who already show interest in your product or service. Instead of annoying your audience with disruptive ads, your customers will discover you online by searching for you.

SEO is a good example of inbound marketing. By optimizing your website for search, you can help potential customers find your business on Google. However, even paid PPC listings in SERPs can be a form of inbound marketing if done properly.

Because inbound marketing is the best place to start when establishing an online presence for your business, this post will focus of different inbound marketing techniques.

How to Do Online Marketing: What You’ll Need

Before you can start doing online marketing for your business, there are some things you’ll need. Firstly, you’ll need your own company website. A website is one of the most essential parts of your online marketing strategy.

Secondly, you’ll need to create social media accounts for your business. Even if you aren’t planning to use social media yet, it’s wise to setup your profiles to reserve your username on each platform.

Lastly, you’ll need to have enough time to invest in online marketing. While the prospect of growing your company through online marketing seems exciting, it’s not always easy. After a while, you’ll likely find you aren’t getting response you hoped for from your marketing efforts.

Don’t let this discourage you, there are literally billions of websites competing for search engine rankings. It’s unlikely that yours will shoot to the top straight away. Over time, your collective efforts should start to pay off and you’ll start reaping rewards – it just takes more time and hard work than most people anticipate.

How to Improve Your SEO

One of the best ways to get results from online marketing is through SEO. If you’re website is listed at the top of Google’s search pages, a lot of people will be able to find your business online.

What Are Keywords?

The first SEO concept you must understand is keywords. Keywords are words or phrases that people often search for. For instance, the word “love” is searched for approximately 3 350 000 times a month, making it one of the most popular Google searches. Seeing as “love” is such a popular search term, you could get a lot of traffic if you ranked high when people search the internet for this word.

However, to attract leads, you must rank for keywords that your potential customers are looking for. A dental practice must rank for searches related to dentistry, whereas a florist needs to rank for searches related to flowers. Ideally, you also want your website to show up in local searches, such as “dentist near me” or “florist in Miami”.

The phrases that you’re trying to rank for are your keywords. Try to rank think of different ideas for what people might search to find a website like yours. Think of as many different keywords as you can. You don’t have to tailor all your website content to rank only for one popular search phrase.

To get your website to rank in SERPs, you must include your target keywords in your website content. A great way to start is by including keywords in the content of your main website pages, such as your Home, About and FAQ pages, for instance.

When writing content with keywords in mind, it’s important to have a balance. You want search engines to find your content, but you don’t want to include the keyword so much that your writing becomes repetitive. Repeatedly stuffing keywords into your writing can cause search engines to penalize your website and mark your content as spam.

Starting a Business Blog

The more keywords your website can rank for, the more traffic you’ll get. If your website consists only of your main website pages, you’ll be limited as to how many different search phrases you can rank for.

Blogging is an excellent way to broaden the range of search phrases your website can rank for. Every blog post can target a different set of key phrases. This will help more people find your business online through your blog.

When blogging, it’s important to write posts that are informative. Look for common questions people ask about your industry and try to write posts to answer them.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is a great platform to help people find your business online. People use social sites to interact with their favorite brands and connect with businesses. Networking is also a major part of social media, which means a social media presence could open up business opportunities you would otherwise miss out on.

A lot of people skip Google and head straight to social sites like Facebook when searching for products and services. In this case, a proper Facebook page is what would help you get found online. Another benefit of having a business Facebook page is that it’s like your own mini website and it’s easy to setup.

Of course, you can use your social media profiles to attract attention to your business. By posting about special offers at your company and other news, you can attract traffic to your business website and make more sales.

Pay Per Click Advertising

PPC can help your website show up in relevant Google searches under the “ads” section in the results. To run a PPC campaign, you need to choose keywords you want to rank for, as well as what products or services you want to advertise. You can set your campaigns with relevant keywords in Google Adwords.

You can also set negative keywords in Adwords to avoid showing your ad in certain results. So, if you have a business that sells jerseys, but you find that people who arrive at your website search for “jersey country”, you can set a negative keyword such as “country” to avoid getting traffic from searches that aren’t related to the clothing item you sell.

The information in this post barely scratches the surface of online marketing. Learning to do online marketing will take a lot of time. Whether it be keyword research, blogging, social media marketing or PPC campaigns, there’s so much more you can learn than is mentioned in this post.

To get good online marketing results from the start, you can hire a professional online marketing company to do your marketing. Find out more about what an online marketing company can do for your business.

Rozanne WildsHow to Do Online Marketing for Your Business
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