With the spread of the coronavirus in Texas, many small and medium businesses have been forced to temporarily shut their doors to prevent the virus spreading. Losing as little as a few days, and in some cases potentially weeks, of business can be frightening for business owners and their staff alike.
Luckily, while we all wait for this pandemic to pass, there are some steps business owners can take to continue promoting their brand to potential customers currently stuck at home. With proper digital marketing, you can keep your business in the minds of current customers at the same time as you reach out to new ones. To help you get started, our Austin SEO team has compiled some basic digital marketing tips below.
Utilize Your Website
Digital marketing encompasses a wide range of marketing strategies that reach customers online. These can include investing in PPC campaigns and geo-targeted ads, improving your SEO, maintaining an active social media presence, and more. All of these strategies have one thing in common: a good website improves them all.
What You Can Do
The downtime your business may be experiencing is a good chance for you to take a close look at your existing website. Ask yourself a few questions while you’re looking, such as:
- Does my website function well? (Do the pages load correctly? Are the links still active?)
- Does my website accurately represent my brand? (Is your logo up-to-date? Is your slogan accurate?)
- Does my website have a current SSL certificate? (Learn more about SSL Certificates)
- Does my website help customers access my goods or services quickly and easily?
- Does my website look professional on differently sized devices?
If the answer to one or more of these questions is no, it might be time to consider a website redesign. If you are able to redesign your website yourself, now is a good time to do so. If the updates needed require a professional touch, contact a local web design company for help (for examples of modern website design, see tekRESCUE’s portfolio).
Create PPC and Geo-Targeted Ad Campaigns
If your website is already performing how you need it to, you can take a look at creating online advertising campaigns. Two types of online advertising methods stand out in 2020: PPC campaigns, and geo-targeted ads.
What are PPC Campaigns?
PPC stands for “Pay Per Click.” PPC campaigns are a type of online marketing in which advertisers pay a specific fee only when their ads are clicked.
You’ve probably seen examples of this type of advertising at the top of search engine results. Below is an example of two PPC ads at the top of a Google search engine results page (SERP).
The benefit of PPC campaigns is that they can quickly boost traffic to your website. If you choose appropriate search terms for your ad to appear under, the fee you pay per click should end up being a trivial amount compared to the amount of sales you receive from the resulting traffic. Still not sure if PPC advertising is right for your company? Check out how Google Ads Works.
What Are Geo-Targeted Ads?
Geo-targeted ads are PPC ads that target users in a specific location. These locations can be very broad, such as users in San Marcos, TX, or they can be very specific, such as users on a certain block. Some geo-targeting services even allow campaigns to target users during a specific time-frame.
Geo-targeted ads are beneficial because they allow you to target your customer demographic very precisely. However, using them effectively does require some research to determine your target demographic and how receptive they are to PPC advertising. Interested in setting up geo-targeted ads for your business?
Improve SEO For Your Business
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and is a type of organic marketing, as opposed to paid methods like PPC campaigns. The goal of SEO, like PPC campaigns, is to increase traffic to a website and therefore increase sales or your products or services.
However, instead of paying for each click to your website through a PPC ad, SEO leads potential customers to your website by improving rankings in search engines and cleanly representing your brand online to your target audience (Still not sure what the difference is? Read this article on SEO vs PPC Marketing).
Best SEO practices in 2020 revolve around a few core concepts:
These strategies apply to elements on your website and include:
- Content Creation – Search engines strive to simulate human users in order to return the most relevant content in response to search queries online. One of the most important parts of having your website recognized as an authority in your business niche is having high quality content available.
- Content Optimization – Optimizing your content is how you alert search engines that your content is relevant to a query. This requires determining a set of relevant keywords (New to keyword research? Find out How to Find and Target Keywords) and placing them in strategic locations on your website while avoiding keyword stuffing errors.
- Technical Optimization – Your website is more than just content, and the technical aspects of it can also affect your ranking. For example, websites with faster load times rank better than those that load more slowly. Also, websites that are mobile responsive rank higher than those that aren’t (What is a Mobile Responsive Website?).
These strategies apply to areas where your brand appears outside of your website and include:
- Presence on the Web – Having links to your website appear across the internet is as important as having quality content, since your goal is for users to find that content. Signaling search engines with keywords is an important step toward that goal. The next step is signaling by creating backlinks to your website. This tells search engines that your content is helpful enough that it is being linked to across the web.
- Syndicating Content – Sharing your content is another great way to send users back to your website. There are many ways to share content. Some can be done quickly, such as sharing on your social media. Others take a little more time but are just as, or more, important, such as offering to write content as a guest for a popular blog in your business niche.
What Can I Do?
All of the different aspects of SEO can seem daunting, and deciding where to begin can be difficult. Here are some suggestions to help you get started.
Where to Begin On-Page SEO: As a business owner, you can start evaluating your on-page SEO by taking a good look at the content on your website. Is it high quality content that can answer questions users might have about your business products and services? Does it represent your brand accurately?
Where to Begin Off-Page SEO: A good starting point for evaluating your off-page SEO is searching for your business online. Does your business have a listing with the major search engines, such as Google and Bing? Is your business information correct where it appears in directories and on social media?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, now is a great time to take the necessary steps to fix issues that are hurting your SEO, and therefore your ranking, which will cost you customers. Still not sure where to start?
Improve Your Social Media Presence
Our final tip for promoting your business from home is to take a look at your presence on social media. As mentioned briefly above, having an active social media account can help boost your brand’s presence online in several ways.
Promoting – One of the most important reasons to maintain a social media presence is to promote your brand and products or services. Putting your business on social media gives potential customers additional opportunities to find you. Linking to your website and your content on social media also furthers this goal. The more users go to your content for answers, the more authority it gives your website, and the more opportunities it gives users to find solutions to their needs in your products or services.
Connecting – Of nearly equal importance is the chance social media gives you to connect with your target audience. There are countless examples of this appearing across social media platforms as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Restaurants that have been closed by city ordinances have reached out to their customers on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms to post updates on how they are evolving to meet their customers’ needs.
In addition, many businesses have started sharing resources that can help their audience get by during the period of social distancing. This not only puts your brand in front of potential customers, but it also lets them know that your business cares about their experience. This is a chance to meet your customers’ needs not only through your products and services, but through your concern for their well-being during uncertain times.
Take This Time to Promote from Home
The current pandemic has left many individuals feeling uncertain. Whether you’re having to work from home for the first time, or trying to find a way to support your employees while your business is unable to operate normally, remember that we’re all in this together. Use the information provided above to promote your business to customers online during social distancing, and to let your community know how your services can help them.
Find Help from Your Local SEO Company Near Austin
If you need additional support promoting your business, contact the Austin SEO team at tekRESCUE to learn how we can help. Located in San Marcos, TX just south of Austin, our search engine optimization and digital marketing team can help you promote your business locally and spread your brand awareness even in these difficult times. We’re here to help!