While a small company does not have the resources of a large corporation, growing businesses can still utilize many of the same techniques to increase sales. These include search engine optimization (SEO) and smart webpage design to convert more leads into customers, resulting in more traffic and revenue.
Here are 3 proven strategies to help small businesses increase sales:
1. Paid SEO and Bidding on Top Keywords
Although inbound marketing has a focus on organic SEO, small businesses have the option of using paid SEO strategies to increase sales. You can leverage this kind of strategy if you're looking to see results quickly. Also known as pay per click (PPC) advertising, paid SEO involves bidding on particular keywords so business webpages appear in a prominent place on search engine result pages.
Paid vs. Organic SEO
Paid SEO is a boon to many small businesses that want to show up on relevant searches that make them more visible to their target audience. However, paid SEO is more costly than simply engaging in standard inbound marketing techniques. Businesses tracking key performance metrics will likely notice that cost per click or cost per conversion of each lead will be greater for paid SEO than for organic SEO where you build relationships with leads naturally and having them come to you.
How to Avoid High Costs on Keyword Bidding
In addition to the added cost of PPC, businesses must ensure that they are bidding on keywords effectively. High competition keywords mean more money put toward bidding, making small businesses unlikely to afford keywords coveted by larger companies. To prevent paying too much money on keywords, small businesses should look at long tail keywords, or keywords that are made up of three or more words. These long tail keywords are less expensive for bids and may even allow your targeted audience to find you more efficiently because queries are more specific.
Small businesses can use free tools like Keyword Planner available via their Google AdWords account to determine the popularity and relevance of certain keywords that describe their:
Products and services
Questions related to customer problems
2. Social Media Marketing and Sponsored Posts
With millions of small business Facebook pages and counting, it’s no wonder why social media marketing is a sought-after channel for growing leads and revenue. There is no cost to create a business Facebook page and companies can choose how much or how little money they want to spend on increasing their number of followers and page exposure.
Small businesses also have free tools available to track metrics like number of followers, how many people viewed a post, the amount of comments and more. While these tools are useful to organically grow a small business Facebook page, companies that want to have more visibility among their followers’ social media networks go the extra length and pay for sponsored posts.
Sponsored Posts vs. Regular Social Media Posts
Facebook allows businesses to pay to boost a post - a more targeted approach to make sure their most attractive and potentially revenue-driving posts are promoted to their followers.
Differences between regular posts and boosted posts include the ability for sponsored posts to:
Narrow down followers by location
Select between age ranges
Filter by gender
Choose relevant follower interests
By having your key audience in mind, you will increase your chances of converting leads into customers.
Before delving into sponsored posts, businesses should set a budget to determine how many people they want to reach. At minimum businesses spend $5 per sponsored post, but there is a greater restriction on how many you will reach. You can add to the number of estimated people reached by setting a higher maximum budget.
3. Optimized Local/Mobile Search
Small businesses often emphasize the importance of buying local and search engines recognize this. Improvements in local and mobile search has made it easier for consumers to find nearby companies.
According to a report by Google on local search, 80 percent of consumers used search engines to pinpoint local information.
To locate these businesses potential and current customers simply have to type in local information pertaining to:
Directions and maps
About 54 percent of consumers with a smartphone look for information related to business hours while 53 percent said they needed directions to a local store. Knowing this, businesses should have this information highlighted on a Contact Us or similar page or even in the footer every webpage.
With this information, consumers are more likely to make active buying decisions as half of consumers who performed a local search on their mobile device visited a store within a day.
More streamlined access to local business information means businesses must adapt to changes in how customers find the. To increase sales, companies should look into ads based on their location. The same Google report showed 4 in 5 potential or current consumers prefer ads that are relevant to their city, zip code or nearby surroundings.
Rather than wait for customers to come to them, businesses must actively pursue opportunities for greater leads and revenue through inbound marketing, paid search and more. Small businesses must weigh their need to save money by using free tools and services and purchasing added features that could increase sales significantly.