Did you know that 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine? Or, how about the fact that nearly 60% of consumers use Google monthly to find a local small business? The statistics simply don't lie: if you can't be found online, you are losing out on a huge share of potential customers.
In today's market, it is increasingly difficult for small businesses to thrive. When large corporations have all of the funds and necessary resources to advertise and reach a wide audience, it can make it nearly impossible for local businesses to compete. This is where online marketing comes into play.
One of the most effective ways for small businesses to effectively market
is through the use of SEO, SEM, and other smart online marketing techniques.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Put into its simplest terms, SEO refers to a group of practices used to help websites achieve better visibility in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing through "natural" or "organic" search results. Although this seems fairly simple on the surface, search engines follow a very particular algorithm to determine how search results are listed. Effective SEO can improve your rankings and ultimately increase traffic.
The benefits of having effective SEO content include:
- Increased online visibility & ranking in search engines
- More qualified traffic being driven to your business
- Content that is more user-friendly & easier to read
- Increased presence on social media websites
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
While some marketing companies will tout SEO as the be-all and end-all, it is much smarter to take a holistic approach to your online marketing with SEO and SEM in tandem. While SEO focuses on the natural rankings in search engines, SEM focuses on what is known as paid advertising.
SEM gives the business more control over what keywords they would like to appear for, what geographic locations they want to target, and even when they want their ads to appear. It is targeted, focused, and can be used to drive highly qualified customers to your website. By using both SEO tactics and SEM, you can widen your reach to target all potential customers online.
Localize Your Internet Marketing
With the use of online marketing (such as SEO and SEM), a small business can more easily reach their targeted local markets. Through effective marketing practices, you can easily increase the traffic to your business, which allows small businesses to compete with large corporations online.
Internet marketing can help small businesses achieve the following benefits:
- Find new customers
- Explore various markets
- Assist with company growth
- Achieve greater company credibility
The use of online marketing creates endless possibilities for businesses of all sizes. In fact, it is one of the best long-term investments that a business can make.