Many small businesses have little or no budget to advertise through traditional means like print and radio ads, phone book advertisements or direct mail. The good news is, businesses can use internet marketing techniques that present a greater return on their investment if they have an effective, search engine optimized website and focus on driving traffic and generating leads.
Start with a Focus on SEO.
Brainstorm keyword phrases that your customers would type into a search engine to find a product or service like yours. Your keyword phrases might contain geographical locations like your state or town name. Then use these keywords on your site, in your blog, in social media channels and for your landing pages. Google’s free keyword tool can help suggest phrases you may not have thought of, and will show you how many searches each keyword phrase might get. Focus on a primary and secondary keyword phrase for each page on your site.
Then make sure each page on your site has keyword focused page titles, meta tags, and URLs, H1 tags, image alt text, links, and page content (we discuss the details of on-page SEO in this post). If are considering a redesign in addition to SEO changes, review our free Successful Website Redesign Ebook.
Next, drive traffic and generate leads with inbound marketing best practices:
If you are not doing it already, start blogging. Then set up a schedule so that you or a member of your team is blogging at least once a week. Ten times a month is recommended. Businesses who blog 16 to 20 times per month get over 2 times more traffic and 3 times more leads than those who blog less than 4 times per month.1
Think Content and More Web Pages.
Create pages that better describe your service or product to your customers and make sure they have great page titles, URLs, and focus on 2 keyword phrases per page. Use the SEO basics we described above. Businesses with 401 to 1,000 web pages have 9 times more traffic and 6 times more leads than those with 51 to 100.1
Create More Landing Pages.
Create more landing pages (also called a lead capture page). It’s important not just to have landing pages, but to have many landing pages. Many online businesses make the mistake of having only one landing page on their site – usually a “Contact Us” page. Explore the needs of your customer and offer them information that will help them. This helps your potential customers and allows them to see you as an expert in the service or product you are offering. Businesses with 31 to 40 landing pages have 7 times more leads than those with only 1 to 5 pages.1
Get Serious About Social Media.
There’s no denying it – social media drives traffic and sales and is here to stay. If you’re a B2B product or service, LinkedIn’s (160 million users) may be the social network to focus on. Businesses with 301 to 1,000 Twitter followers had over 5 times more traffic and 4 times more leads than those with 1 to 25 followers. Businesses with 501-1000 Facebook fans had 3.5 times more traffic 4 times more leads than those with 1 to 25 followers.1
Stick With It! Measure Your Success and Adjust as Needed.
You can’t improve if you are not measuring your efforts. Google Analytics is a great free tool for measuring traffic, basic SEO and conversions – sign up and learn to use it!
The internet marketing techniques we’ve discussed show on average a 62% lower cost-per-lead than those that focus on traditional outbound techniques. In addition, SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound sourced leads have a 1.7% close rate.2 Creating a regular schedule for creating blog posts and landing pages and interacting in social media is key. It takes time to build great content and traffic, but stick to it!
If you haven’t done so already, you can download the data on these best practices in our free Lead Generation Lessons from 4,000 Businesses.
1Hubspot, Lead Generation Lessons from 4,000 Businesses, 2011
2Hubspot, The 2012 State of Inbound Marketing report, 2012