Last week, I had a great conversation with Nimie Gill, a digital marketing expert and owner of Suncoast Web Marketing in Sarasota, Florida.
We discussed how to help small companies design and implement an effective digital marketing plan. The only thing worse than no digital marketing is weak digital marketing, where money is spent without a measurable result. Inadequate digital marketing is like a 50-foot bridge over a 100-foot ravine. It costs money and might look pretty, but it cannot get the audience over to your side.
I asked if she had any tips for small businesses just starting with digital marketing, and unsurprisingly, she did. The first thing she told me was the correct initial approach depended upon the type of business and the business itself. She shared the following as high-level tips to consider.
Businesses focused on a local market (e.g., retail, CPAs, HVAC, health clubs, attorneys, physicians). Strategy: Make a significant impression on Google Maps within your target market.
- Create/Optimize your Google My Business listing (first impression)
- Regularly update your Google My Business listing to ensure everything is filled out, the information is current for better Google recommendations.
- Add your company to other high-quality, third-party directory listings (Yelp, Trip Advisor, City Search). Make sure the information matches your Google My Business listing
Businesses focused on a national/international market. Strategy: Create a national presence.
- Create a highly optimized website (first impression)
- Lots of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) targeted at highest quality clicks (not first page of Google search results)
- Have specific goals and a budget because it costs money. Knowing who you are trying to reach and the action(s) you want them to take will help you spend effectively. Creating a global presence is not a one-time or short-term process.
Start-ups. Strategy: Make an impression as a “real” business
- Professional one-page website (first impression)
- Create/Optimize your Google My Business listing to help local customers find you.
- Claim your business citation listings.
- Create a Facebook Business page because it signals importance to Google.
These recommendations are just a first step but an excellent way to get started and help you clarify your brand and definitive message.
During our conversation, she offered to review my current website for me. In just a few minutes, she provided me 12 specific changes along with the reasons why. I’ve already made most of the changes, and I can see my traffic and responses improving. Even better, Suncoast Web Marketing offers a Google Map Ranking Report as a free service. Contact Nimie to find out more about this service.
Digital marketing is the perfect way to get in touch with your target market. But for it to be most effective, you need to know who you want to speak to, why they will benefit from the contact, and how your solution fits them best. If you lack clarity on any of this, I can help. Let’s talk. Both your business and your digital marketing will be better for it.
“Even when you are marketing to your entire audience or customer base,
you are still simply speaking to a single human at any given time.”