The UK’s small businesses have generally been slow in accepting online marketing as a tool for attracting customers and many don’t involve themselves in it at all. Many business owners are under the impression that online marketing is far too costly for an SME. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth and online marketing consultancy is actually now available at very reasonable prices.
Those small businesses that have embraced online marketing often handle it in-house which means that it can be a little half-hearted and/or ineffective. A survey carried out by YouGov found that around a third of small businesses handle their own online marketing. The same survey also found that only 50% of small businesses used social media as a promotional tool and 58% were prepared to use DIY websites and blogs.
Such a casual attitude to a business’s online presence is a big mistake. It is absolutely vital that every small business has a professional website and an online marketing strategy. Customers will be looking for businesses on Facebook and Twitter and if it isn’t visible, they will go to a competitor. Similarly, for most businesses, a pay-per-click strategy for search engines such as Google, is real advantage.
Online marketing consultants
Marketing consultants are surprisingly reasonably priced and soon pay themselves by increasing a business’s revenue. There are 5 main areas to online marketing: search engine optimisation (SEO), social media, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, mail shots and the company’s website.
SEO is vital in getting to the top of search engine results pages and once in place needs only a little tweaking as time passes. An active social media presence is vital to modern businesses and can quickly spread the word regarding special offers and other company news. PPC advertising is one of the most effective ways of increasing traffic but it needs careful management and optimisation. Mail shots to subscribed customers are a very cost-effective way of increasing sales but their copy needs careful consideration. A company website is the public face of a business and its design and copy should be carefully thought out.
By focusing on these areas individually an online marketing consultant can drive traffic to the company website while increasing the business’s conversion rate (the rate that visitors to the site result in completed sales).
Considering all these factors is a time consuming and complicated business which is why it makes so much sense to employ a professional online marketing consultant to take care of it for you.