Why Digital Marketing Can Make or Break Small Businesses

Digital marketing is no longer optional for small businesses. Instead, digital marketing can literally make or break a small business.

While many small businesses still staunchly believe that their business can thrive without digital marketing, this is simply not true. From social media to online reviews to local online searches, you either adopt digital marketing or you face extinction.

Talk to small businesses owners who are resisting digital marketing tactics and you often will discover an individual who is overwhelmed at the idea of going digital. Most of them will tell you that they simply don’t believe that they have the time to learn about every digital platform, nor can they afford to effectively market on all of these platforms.

The good news is that there is no need to “do it all” when it comes to digital. Instead, the key is to develop a marketing strategy that allows a business to do only what makes the most sense for their business. Of course, there are a few things that a small business must do in this digital age.

The first thing that a small business must do is to optimize their business’ website for local searches. After all, if you are a hair salon in Columbus, Ohio, there is no reason to try to attract customers from across the country.

The key to getting noticed locally is to optimize title tags and meta-descriptions on your website so that they include the name of your city or town. You also need to make sure that you are listed on leading directories like Google My Business and Yelp. Many small businesses are surprised to learn that local businesses are what are found on the first pages of these types of directories. The key is to make sure that your information is always accurate.

The second thing to keep in mind is that your website must be optimized for mobile. If people search for your business on your phone and your website isn’t set up for mobile that will make it difficult to read and navigate, causing users to quickly move on to the next listing. When this happens, you don’t just lose a customer, your ranking on search engines drops.

Finally, don’t just optimize your business for local searches and then make sure your website is mobile-friendly. You always must be checking to see that anything you are doing online—email marketing, for example—is producing the results you want it to produce. If it isn’t you must try something new. After all, marketing dollars are scarce so you can’t afford to waste them on digital tactics that aren’t working.