(This is a guest post created by guest author Alex Ratynski)
The internet is a fantastic tool for growing your business! But, with that being said, you can’t just create an online business or website and expect to immediately get results. You need to know how to harness the internet’s power and use the tools available to grow your business.
In this article, we’re going to outline how you can grow your business using the tools at your fingertips. We’re going to help you increase your search engine visibility, boost your brand authority, and grow your bottom line. Let’s get started.
1. Use targeted paid ads to increase your reach
Paid online advertising is the process of purchasing ad spots on different apps or websites to attract internet traffic. There are a lot of different strategies you can use. You might decide to invest in search engine advertising, so your site will appear above the organic results. Or, you could invest in social media paid advertisements, which will appear in a user’s feed. When done right, paid advertising can help you grow your business exponentially.
Targeting is a huge element of online advertising. It can help you focus on the customer traits or demographics of people who are more likely to like your brand, products, or services. Targeting your ads can help ensure that you’re attracting the most relevant people to your website, and increasing your sales.
When deciding which kinds of paid ads to invest in, you should first consider where your target audience is the most active. How do people tend to find your business — through search engines or a social media platform? Which social media platforms are your target audience most active on? What other similar brands do they shop with? These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself when organizing a targeted paid advertising campaign.
Placing your ads where your target audience is the most active will help you get the most out of your paid ads and grow your business.
2. Invest in SEO
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is vital for growing a business online. It involves using techniques that will increase the chances of your website ranking on relevant search engine results pages. This will help maximize the amount of high-quality traffic you draw to your website.
Every SEO strategy should have three main components: link building, content, and technical SEO. Let’s break these down.
Link building is the process of acquiring links from other high-quality and authoritative websites. When this happens, Google takes it as a vote of confidence in your work, giving you a boost on the search engine results pages (SERPs) as a result.
So, how do you get links? One surefire way is by creating high-quality content that people will want to link back to and share with their audiences. If you can create expert content or conduct research that people will want to reference, they’ll typically credit you as the source and give you a link.
Guest blogging is another great way to build your backlink profile. Guest blogging is the process of creating expert content for other websites in your niche. Usually, guest blogging allows you to link to your website once or twice a time, boosting your backlink profile.
To find guest posting opportunities, head to Google with a list of topics relevant to your industry and search one of the following terms:
- (keyword) “guest post”
- (keyword) “guest post guidelines”
- (keyword) “guest blogging”
- (keyword) “guest post submission”
These searches should help you find some blogs in your niche that accept guest posts. Read through their guidelines to find topics, pitching instructions, and the like.
Content marketing is king! It’s the process of creating relevant, valuable, and consistent content to attract your target audience and keep them as customers. If you create high-quality content, you can reach your target audience, increase your brand awareness, and grow your bottom line.
Here are just a few examples of content that you could create for your target audience:
- Informational blog posts about your industry
- Video tutorials
- Virtual try-ons for accessories or cosmetics
- Newsworthy podcasts
- Social media posts, vlogs, or livestream videos
When creating your content, be sure to conduct some keyword research. Start by compiling a list of words or phrases related to your business. Then, head to a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner and plug them in. Google will then provide you with a list of keywords that people are searching for on these topics, based on their competitiveness, or how hard they are to rank for, and their average monthly search volumes.
When selecting keywords to base your content on, you want to find a balance. You want them to be popular enough to help you reach a lot of people, but not so competitive that you can’t rank. Weave these keywords into your content naturally throughout your page titles, headings, and body content to get the best results.
Technical SEO refers to the technical requirements that a website needs to meet to provide a good user experience and rank highly on the SERPs. Here are a couple of things you need to keep in mind when optimizing your website:
- Maintain a fast loading speed (try to keep it under two seconds)
- Optimize for User experience and core web vitals
- Reduce your image file sizes
- Remove dead links from your website
- Register your website with Google Search Console
- Ensure that your website is responsive and mobile-friendly
Keep these things in mind when creating and managing your website — boosting your technical SEO can help boost your rankings on the SERPs.
3. Harness the power of content marketing to attract the right people
As I mentioned earlier, content marketing is great for attracting your ideal audience, so you should ensure you’re regularly updating your blog.
If you’re short on ideas, go back to your keyword research list. Are there any informational keywords that stick out to you? Basing your content on these keywords can help you attract the right people.
You should also create content based on the topics that you are an expert in. Think about what you know about your industry inside and out — what do people come to your business for over anyone else? Creating content about these subjects can help you reach your ideal customers and ultimately make more sales.
Let’s take a look at a few businesses that do a great job of content marketing for inspiration.
For instance, My Canada Payday, a financial services provider, has an article that tells Canadians how to file taxes during the pandemic. The article outlines how different emergency relief programs, like unemployment, affect Canadian taxpayers and their filing status. This is a great, newsworthy article that is going to be very good at attracting the right people to My Canada Payday’s website. People who need help filing their taxes might be interested in other financial services that they provide.
On your website, think about how you can attract the right people to your business using newsworthy content that is relevant to your business. Doing so will help you find the right people and grow your business online!
Helix Hearing Care, a hearing aid supplier, uses content marketing to show their customers how to maintain their hearing aids.
This article features a few videos on changing batteries, changing filters, and turning the devices off and on. It could help to support the company in securing or retaining more customers, as the content shows their products are easy to look after, and it will also help to build trust with their audience.
On your website, create content that shows people how to use your products or incorporate your services into their lives. Doing so will build trust with the viewer and can help you grow your business.
Finally, Dollar Shave Club, an online razor subscription service, has a guide to cleaning the shower that does an excellent job of drawing in the right people to their website. The article tells the reader how they can deep-clean their shower from top to bottom. Simply put, the article targets the average guy who wants to be hygienic, but isn’t really sure how to get started — this is the epitome of the Dollar Shave Club’s target audience. People who read this article very well might be interested in their products, making it great for growing a subscriber base.
On your website, think about what guides you could write related to your industry that would attract people to your website. Doing so will help you build trust with these people and encourage them to use your products or services.
4. Create social media accounts that make sense for your business
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool that all business owners should take advantage of. But too many make the mistake of trying to be on every platform at once, which can have a detrimental impact on the quality of their content. Quality is always more important than quantity — this means that, if your resources are limited, you need to focus on using a smaller number of social media platforms well.
When deciding which platforms to focus on, there’s a lot to consider. If you run a business that can generate a lot of great imagery, like a hair salon or restaurant, TikTok, Pinterest, and Instagram are all good choices. If you’re just looking for a platform with a large user base, Facebook is the obvious choice. If you market mostly to other businesses and professionals, LinkedIn is your best bet.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of businesses that have done a good job of choosing their ideal social media platforms for inspiration.
American International University, a higher education institution, shows off their social media presence right on their homepage. As you can see in the image above, they have links to their Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram accounts. Because they target young adults looking to continue studying after high school, these are great platforms for them to be on.
On your website, don’t forget to promote your social media accounts! Having visible links to your social media pages will help you grow your follower count, and ultimately your business.
Target also has a variety of social media accounts, but has found great success on TikTok. Target is well-known for their quirky products and fun styles, making TikTok an excellent choice for them. They have videos highlighting new products, styling tips, and more. The Target TikTok account now has more than one million followers, so it’s become a great way to show off their latest lines and offers.
For your brand, be sure to select social media platforms that can help show your products or services in a great light. Doing so will help you get more followers and build your business.
5. Make high-quality lead magnets your audience will love
A lead magnet is a free product or service that is offered to website visitors in exchange for their contact information. They can be webinars, free templates, eBooks, free trials, and the like — the best choice will depend on your type of business.
Lead magnets offer a great way to grow your business online. They can help you build your contact list organically and get more eyes on your newsletters and promotional emails. This can help you get more sales!
Promoting your lead magnets is just as important as creating them. Post about your lead magnets on your social media pages to help ensure that your followers know they exist. You should also focus on building a strong landing page people can download your lead magnet from. This will help prompt people to take action, getting you more contact information.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of high-quality lead magnets for inspiration.
FreshBooks, an online accounting software company, uses free invoice templates as lead magnets. These invoice templates target small business owners and freelancers that bill their own clients — if they’re searching for this type of content online, they may be interested in FreshBooks’ online accounting software, as well! This makes it a great lead magnet, as it can gather contact information from people who might be interested in their services.
On your website, consider whether you could offer your prospective clients any helpful templates for free in order to attract them to your website and get their contact information. Then, you can stay in touch with the people who download your free lead magnets, which will give you the chance to nurture the relationship until they become paying customers.
Venngage, an online infographic maker, uses free infographic templates to generate more leads. People can use these if they create an account. This allows the company to collect their information and add them to their mailing list, which can encourage people to spend money with Venngage in the future. By offering some of their templates and services for free, Venngage is able to grow their business!
On your website, consider offering a free trial or template that gives your website visitors a taste of what it’s like to work with your business. You can get contact information in return and build trust with your website visitors, thus growing your business.
Finally, Search Engine Journal, a digital marketing news site, offers free digital marketing eBooks. As you can see in the image above, they have a variety of eBooks on subjects like SEO, Google’s ranking factors, and more. These eBooks are free to anyone who wants them, as long as they supply their contact information!
People interested in these eBooks are very likely to be interested in Search Engine Journal’s other services. This means they’re great lead magnets — they attract the right people to the website and help grow their business.
On your website, consider compiling old articles or blog posts into eBooks that people can download for free. This will help people who are looking for comprehensive information and help you to grow your business.
6. Focus on establishing authority in your field
It’s vital that you establish brand authority in your field. This will increase the chance of someone automatically thinking of your business when they need products or services like yours! If you can prove that you are an expert in your field, you can generate more leads and build your client base.
Here are just a few ways that you can establish brand authority in your field:
- Attend industry events
- Speak at industry conferences
- Build a strong social media presence
- Guest blog for relevant websites
- Consistently publish expert content
Incorporate these tactics into your marketing strategy. It will help you boost your brand authority and grow your business.
There are so many different strategies you can use to grow your business online. In this article, we outlined how you can use SEO techniques, content marketing, social media, and more to build your business. No matter where you are in your online business journey, there’s work to be done — better get to it!
Alex Ratynski is the founder of Ratynski Digital, an online marketing consultancy that focuses on helping small and medium-sized businesses achieve their goals. He set up his company after working as a local SEO director for a dental marketing agency, where he helped to turn clients’ ventures into thriving multi-million dollar businesses. He spends most hours strategizing SEO for his clients.