digital marketing for small business

In this article, I am going to share with you how you can optimize digital marketing for small business to increase your online presence and start seeing results in a step-by-step process.

As more and more businesses start understand digital marketing is important to bring more leads for their business you have to level up your game to stay ahead of your competitors.

Internet is slowly becoming saturated with all kinds of digital marketing strategies and tactics which means that if you want your B2C or B2B digital marketing to be effective you have to optimize your marketing.

Therefore, let me share with you how to optimize digital marketing for small business to increase lead generation and bring better results for your small business.

BTW I will not be talking about the classic advice, like make sure your target audience is done correctly and write down your goals and objective, as I assume you already know this if not, then the wrong article.

Step #1: Make Sure Basics Are Done Correctly (The Foundation)

The first step to optimizing digital marketing for small business is to ensure that the basics are done correctly.

The thing is about B2C or B2B digital marketing is that you can do so much for your business to drive great results like email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, blogging, conversion optimization, webinars, PPC, video marketing, content upgrades, SEO and I barely scratch the surface of all the things you can do to with digital marketing.

So with so many things going on, you can get confused about what you should start with, and on top of that, digital marketing gurus coming up with the latest b2b digital marketing trends like the power of automation, personalized buyer journey, multi-channel marketing, Marketing AI and so much more and again I barely scratch the surface of all kind of trends.

So, it is no wonder that small business owners don’t know where to start or when they start with something they do not get the promised results every marketing guru said they will get.

And the reason why they do not see the results they want is that they have not done the basics correctly, the foundation of digital marketing for every small business to set the sails correctly.

How to Get Digital Marketing Basics Right?

So, what are the digital marketing basics, and how you can get them right?

#1 – Get Your Website Right

First and foremost, you need to ensure your website is done correctly as this is the biggest mistake small businesses can make and that is neglecting their websites in terms of design, the technical part, messaging, and SEO. This also includes your B2B blogging and the mistakes you can make.

Because I am seeing businesses for example using PPC to acquire customers, but when you land on the website it is like a super old car, might be nice to look at it, but you don’t want to drive it.

web design how to optimize digital marketing for small business

So yeah, ensure your website is representing your brand correctly, remember your website is a salesperson too, and if your salesperson is poorly looking, nobody will want to buy from you.

#2 – Optimize for Conversion Rates

The second basic makes sure your website and landing pages are conversion rate optimized. Like I said, your website is a salesperson, and what is the point of having good looking salesperson if he does not know how to sell?

Yeah, that’s right, you need to make sure that your website is actually built to capture leads so you can start working on them.

#3 – Ensure You Follow All Regulations

And the last and third basic is to make sure your website is compliant with all the regulations like GDPR, SSL Certificate, and other regulations you are required to follow. And I think I do not need to explain much here, as you don’t want to mess with laws, right. Just make sure you follow all the rules.

Step #2: Get It Right (Main Digital Marketing Strategies)

The second step is to make sure you are getting right all your strategies or at least the basic B2C B2B digital marketing strategies.

Like I already said, with digital marketing, there is so much you can do, and that is why it is easy to get distracted by that. And therefore, many small businesses are struggling because they start with one digital marketing strategy, then move to the next strategy, and so on.

So, they have no foundation they can build on.

Therefore, marketers or business owners cannot see the results digital marketing is promising such as:

  • More B2B sales leads
  • Improving quality leads
  • Increase in sales
  • Cost-effective
  • Scalable

And all of that is because they cannot get the strategies right. Therefore, it is important to start just with basic digital marketing strategies and get them right.

So, let’s talk about the basic digital marketing strategies you should start with and get them right. Also, this should be managed by 1-3 marketing people easily, so do not worry about hiring extra staff.

  1. SEO: This is an essential digital marketing strategy for your business. If you are not investing enough time into SEO Strategy, then don’t be surprised your digital marketing is not working.
  2. Email Marketing: Email marketing is still an extremely valuable and great strategy that has proved itself again and again. Just during COVID-19 email marketing strategy has saved many businesses literally.
  3. Social Media Marketing: Average organization is on 7 social media channels, but you don’t need to. Just pick one and commit to it. For many marketers, social media marketing strategy is the scary skeleton in the closet but actually, once you start, you’ll quickly find out is not that bad.
  4. Blogging: B2C or B2B Blogging is the spine of your website and organic traffic and most likely you will not drive higher traffic from anywhere else. But it takes some time and patience. So, I recommend also doing some guest blogging. Also, read more about B2B Blog Strategy and Blogging for Business.
  5. PPC: With PPC you are able to drive almost instantly leads for your business. Yes, it does not have the best ROI, but it definitely helps small businesses to start with the lead generation before the organic reach kicks in. Which can take up to a year.

And that was all the basic digital marketing strategies you should start with and master before going into the fancier ones.

Also, it might sound like a lot for just 1-3 people to manage, but it is not, trust me I am currently doing this for three businesses. But of course, you cannot do it manually nowadays, but you have to have digital marketing tools.

Thanks to tools 1 person can manage so much more and bring much better results than more people without tools. I have tried that too.

Alright, this step might take you some time to get right, but let’s assume all your digital marketing strategies are done correctly, and we can move to the next step.

Step #3: Learn the Language of Data

Alright, the third step is to actually use your data to optimize your current digital marketing strategies.

First, I did not want to talk about this, as it is quite a buzzword flying all over the place on marketing blogs and magazines and so on, but then I have seen this:

“According to Aberdeen.com. Only 19% of marketers track all of their marketing efforts in order to drive improvement via reporting.”

And there are a couple of reasons why actually only 19% of marketers track all of their marketing efforts:

  1. The first reason is, that they do not understand completely all the features and benefits of the reporting and analytic tools.
  2. Second reason, marketers are too busy to analyze the data. BTW if they would spend a bit more time creating reports and dashboards, they would have it in real-time. The perfect tool is Data Studio from Google or SE Ranking which connects with it.
  3. And the third one, they don’t know what exactly to track or measure. Fair enough.

So, if you are in one of those reasons, or actually in any other reason why you are not tracking your marketing effort you better keep reading this article, as I am going to reveal the secret language of data.

Just kidding, but let’s look at how you can actually learn to track your metrics and marketing effort for your digital marketing.

How You Can Learn to Track Your Digital Marketing Efforts

I will not go into many details as this is quite a complicated topic and to learn how to effectively track your digital marketing efforts, you will actually have to spend some time and put some effort into learning this.

Data can be complicated and transforming them into insights even more. And yes, some great tools use AI like Dynamics 365 Marketing which I really love to use, but these tools are expensive and not yet suitable for small businesses.

So, let’s stick with the basics and advanced tools for digital marketing for a small business.

Definitely, the first tools you should learn to use correctly are Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Data Studio, and Google Tag Manager. Also, Google is rolling out a new tool Google Insights, that should simplify all this data across these tools and help you transfer it into insights.

But again, you should learn how to use them. And the best way is on Google Analytics Academy. Here you can learn all the skills you need to master the language of data from Google and track your marketing efforts.

digital marketing for small businesses using google courses for data harvest

And for the advanced tools I recommend:

I think all of them also provide an academy on how to actually use these tools and they are super helpful to level up your digital marketing strategies.

So that is how you actually can learn to work with data. Did you really think that there is some secret special effortless way? No, you have to grind, especially for data, as it is your biggest opportunity to grow your marketing and the whole business.

You can also watch my YouTube Channel where I am showing you the best ways to use SEO tools to get important data to make smarter decisions.

Step #4 Actually Optimize Your B2B Digital Marketing

The fourth step on how to optimize your digital marketing is actually to optimize your digital marketing strategies.

Confusing?

Alright, let me explain what I mean by optimizing your digital marketing.

By now, you already understand the importance of having a strong foundation which is basically your website, build the strong pillars which are digital marketing strategies, you also know you have to learn to monitor them and now you need to take what you have learned and optimize your strategies.

After the long journey of creating and analyzing your digital marketing you need to actually change that and improve it because as you will probably find out, your first time wasn’t the best.

So, take what you have learned from your data and insights and improve your digital marketing. Remove what is not working, add more what is working and add new things.

And this process will be repeated once every while, for example for PPC once every month or two to ensure you are improving your results.

Remember this step is super important and you can’t just leave it after creating your digital marketing strategies as you must keep optimizing your strategies and strive for better.

google ads how to optimize digital marketing strategies for small business

Also, I want to recommend you keep watching for industry benchmarks and understand what the average metrics are you should achieve as a minimum. For example, the PPC average conversion rate is around 2.5%.

adwords-industry-benchmarks-average-ctr-how to optimize digital marketing strategies for small business

(Source)

But don’t get discouraged if you do not hit the benchmark for the first time because it is normal. Myself many times when I start setting up clients strategies, I do not hit the benchmark and by the time with data, I catch up, so don’t get worried, you can always improve.

Step #5 Be Innovative

The last step how to optimize digital marketing for small businesses is you should be innovative!

For many marketers being innovative is not something important, and I would say is you can do fine without coming up with something new and innovative.

Therefore, being innovative is not something you will see often as a recommended step on how to optimize digital marketing or any marketing, but the importance is actually super high.

Yes, you can do okay, without actually coming up with new and fresh ideas and in many instances, it could be actually the safer option for your marketing, as trying to come up with a new approach is riskier rather than following an already proven approach.

But then your results are mediocre.

search conversion rate benchmark to improve digital marketing for small business

Just let’s look at the graph from WordStream –  for search conversion rate and how you can see below average, average, and the top performance in search conversion rate distribution.

And as you can see the difference between the median and top 25% is twice more leads or twice better conversion rate than having median conversion rate and for top 10% is 5x times more leads and conversions for your business.

And to get there you cannot just simply follow steps, but you need to be innovative and come up with something new and unique for your business, your landing page, or whatever it is.

Therefore, this step might not sound like the essential step to optimize digital marketing for small business, and actually, it is not, if you are okay to settle with median results then you don’t need to.

But if your company strives for excellence and being on top, then this step is more important than ever.

Your business must be innovative with marketing as well and not just with products. And unfortunately, I have seen so many marketing efforts following the same examples repeatedly.

So after you have reached your benchmarks for your digital marketing strategies, you have learned all the techniques and tactics to get to this point, then the fifth and last step is to innovate your marketing.

Conclusion

How to optimize digital marketing for small business is not something you can easily copy and paste for your organization.

Yes, of course, success leaves clues, but usually, it does not leave a step-by-step process you can just copy-paste and you are good to go.

Therefore, I have written this article the way how you should actually think about optimizing your marketing, as it does require a lot of brainpowers, thinking, ideas, and errors to get there.

Because you must remember that each company is unique, the branding, messaging, culture, values, and everything is part of marketing and the better you can portray your company’s uniqueness and differences, the better your marketing will do.

But as I said, follow these steps, as I have used it many times in different niches and I had success and I have no doubt you will be successful too.

Just like I said, follow the steps on how to optimize digital marketing for small business, give it thought and keep trying!

Related Articles:

Also, check out our SEO hub page to find all our Digital Marketing Resources.

Disclaimer

Some of my links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase something, I might get some small commission as a reward for reference. Of course, I am actively using all these services and products, and I only affiliate products or services I have full trust in their quality!