Consumer discovery and marketing play a key role in attracting consumers. Research shows that consumers prefer using digital channels such as a business website, social media, and e-mail when determining where to shop. Small-to-Medium Businesses (SMB’s) estimated that 15% of sales come from these channels, with the higher proportion of sales coming from medium size ﬁrms (27%) versus 11% for micro and 21% for small. (Annual sale criteria by SMB size – Micro <$500K, Small $500K-$5MM, Medium $5MM-$10MM.)
Search Engine Optimization(SEO) is used to describe the marketing technique of ﬁne-tuning a website so that customers looking for businesses like yours can quickly ﬁnd you on search engines.
- A free technique you can perform on your website is modifying the content and structure of a website’s text to match likely searched keywords. Remember that search engines index and rank websites according to your content, and the number of clicks your website gets.
- Search engines can look for words that not only match keywords but also match your website content – so your website ranking may be disadvantaged if things don’t match up. For example, if you’re selling shoes, it helps to have footwear related links.
- We recommend checking out NFIB’s Guide to SEO for Your Small Business Website if you would like more details.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising refers to advertising on internet search engines.
- You pay a PPC service to have your ad appear when a chosen keyword or phrase is searched. Typically, you are charged each time a shopper clicks your ad. The ads normally appear under a heading such as “Sponsored Links.”
Track your website’s performance to help ensure its reach is as wide as possible.
- Setting KPIs (key performance indicators) are a great way to begin tracking your website’s performance, as it requires you to set benchmark goals that you’d like to achieve.
- What KPIs should you set? Some of this will depend on why you decided to develop a website.
- A common KPI that businesses track is conversion rate. This measures the number of people that come to your website and take a desired action such as making a purchase or signing up to receive e-mails.
You can ﬁnd a variety of web analytics tools online that allow you to track your website’s performance and see how you’re doing.
Excerpt from Digital Transformation of SMBs: The Future of Commerce, presented by Visa.