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The Basics of Digital Marketing for Small Business Owners

Let’s face it – entrepreneurship is not for the weak of heart, will, or mind! There is never enough time in the day or minutes in the hour to cross every ‘t’ and dot every ‘i’, thus you leave some ‘t’s’ uncrossed, or “i’s” un-dotted! Often, to be a successful business owner, this lack of attention to detail is crucial in the early stages of your business. Admit it – your website design and digital marketing strategy is not where it should or could be.

As a successful business owner, you have learned that going down every rabbit hole or chasing every shiny object to boost your business will leave you spinning your wheels. YOU must maintain the focus and mission of your organization; you focus on what you are good at. Not to mention the need to make payroll, keep the lights on, maintain profitability, and hopefully, take something home for yourself and your family. This is a lot of responsibility that most people do not appreciate.

Today is a different day. You are established and enjoy a steady monthly cash flow. You have worked your ass off the last few years. Now you feel proud that you provide opportunities to a few employees AND you are saving money for retirement, college education, and even taking a vacation once a year!

Hawaii here we come! There you are, basking in the sun, the kids are frolicking in the crystal blue ocean, the mai-tai’s are flowing. LIFE IS GOOD. As you go up to the bar for another drink and calamari fritters, you quite randomly strike up a conversation with a fellow vacationer from your hometown, we’ll call her Carla. As the conversation progresses, you realize Carla is a HUGE potential customer for your small business, but you don’t have any information to leave with her about your business. In a last-ditch effort, you suggest she check out your website and that you’ll give her a call when you get back into town.

Walking hurriedly back to your chair and the family, you whip out your smartphone and try to pull up your business’ website. Annoyingly, you Google your company’s name in your hometown, and your website is nowhere to be found. To make matters worse, the website takes forever to load, and when it finally does, the formatting looks amateur and the menu of services is clunky. Have you never actually visited your own website on your phone? With a heavy sigh, you commit yourself to creating a digital marketing strategy when you return home.

So where do you start? At Digital Marketing Missoula, we recommend you start with a strong foundation; the basics. Any respectable digital marketing strategy should encompass at least the following three things:

Premium Hosting

Hosting is the service provided to you by hosting companies to store your website and all its data, and in some cases, all your customer’s data as well. It is important to note that all service providers of hosting are NOT equal. Digital Marketing Missoula recommends premium hosting. Lower quality hosting service providers will lump your website data in with many (100s or 1000s) of other websites.

Some of these other websites may include adultpharma, and other less than savory types of websites. This can be dangerous to your website’s data. It is important to find a clean and optimized server to ensure lightning fast clicks, speedy updates, and high security for your business and your customers. Especially as privacy concerns and regulations are hitting headlines every day!

Responsive Website Design

Duh! Most potential customers will search for a service or product and quickly review a few websites before they decide to buy. It is imperative that you do not drop the ball on this one. If your website does not load within the short attention span that is your modern-day customer, or when it does load, the potential customer cannot find what they are looking for quickly, this customer is going to your competition. Additionally, your website must have ‘curb appeal’ – it must look the way you want your customers to perceive your business. People make decisions based on their perception of reality. It does not matter if you produce a better product or deliver a higher quality service at a lower price. If potential customers do not perceive you to be competent, trustworthy, credible, etc., they will go to your competition.

Website design does not have to be some huge mountain that you need to climb. Unless designing websites fits into your business’ mission statement, any serious small business owner outsources this job to experts. At Digital Marketing Missoula we have a suite of experts that have a mission to deliver a results-driven experience with a Four Seasons level of quality and FedEx-like efficiency. Let us design your professional website and let you do what you do best; run your business.

Local Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization is fundamental to the success of local small business owners. Specifically, your website needs to be optimized to encourage people that are already looking for your services to know where and how to buy from you. You might have a great looking website, but it is totally worthless without the ability for people to find your website.

SEO is the lifeline of your online marketing efforts. SEO is also one of the most challenging aspects of any digital marketing strategy. To be successful with local search engine optimization requires constant awareness and training as the digital landscape transforms at an alarming rate. There is no practical way that YOU, as a successful business owner doing what you do best, can stay abreast of the latest techniques and search engine algorithms.

At Digital Marketing Missoula, we offer a high quality and affordable local business search optimization package. Leave this job to our experts, who are trained on the latest guidelines from all major search engines such as Google, Bing, Yandex and Yahoo.

In Summary:

The foundation of a successful local small business digital marketing strategy must have:
  • A website design that is attractive to the eye
    • Loads quickly! Industry standard right now is less than 2 seconds
    • Responsive on all devices, including desktop, mobile, and tablet
    • Encourages potential customers to become customers with Call-To-Actions (CTA)
  • Search Engine Optimization
    • Get found when someone in your area searches for your product or service
    • Every search for your product or service that does not turn up your name, further reduces your notoriety in your market, as your competition moves up the food chain
  • Premium Hosting
    • Especially important if your website is used to capture customer data, process orders online, etc…

Lucky for you, Digital Marketing Missoula has your back and is your partner in success! Call us today at (406) 219-7819 to schedule a complimentary consultation and receive your free website audit report.