SME Digital Marketing With SEO and PPC
Some companies face a whole different set of challenges when kicking off a digital marketing campaign. It’s important for small-and-medium-sized enterprises to face SEO or PPC differently when stuck with a lower budget or fewer resources for campaign management.
So what’s different about SME digital marketing and what strategies can help your business grow reliably?
SMEs represents businesses with a lower number of employees and make up a huge percentage of businesses across the U.S. and across the globe. SMEs and SMBs (small-and-medium-sized businesses) have many similarities – except in the world of technology and software marketing where they differ in sales strategies and employee structure. SMB digital marketing works best with a multi-channel approach that can help build a brand across the most successful strategies – paid-ads, search optimization, and social media – and SME internet marketing isn’t much different.
In the U.S. 20% of small-and-medium size enterprises fail within 1 year, by year 5 50% have failed and in 10 years about 80% of SMEs don’t make it. For these companies then, it’s no surprise that their no. 1 priority is “attracting customers.” Fortunately finding a way to do SME internet marketing isn’t out of reach for any business, the options and best-practices are easily doable as good ways to grow business online.
For new and growing businesses, the writing is on the wall, internet commerce is the future, and with increased internet use being the new normal, it means that for SMEs, digital marketing is not optional. The chances are you’ve already heard about the most popular digital marketing strategies – but SEM, SEO, and paid-advertising are the most fundamental options available. Without pursuing these strategies as a baseline, it’s going to be basically impossible to build your business online.
Here’s what SME internet marketing means, and how to decide what’s best for you.
Long & short-term SME digital marketing options
First you want to outline what to expect for online marketing and what your business’s goals are – whether it’s near term results or better reliable growth down the road, or what is more likely for most businesses – both.
Short term vs. long term digital marketing strategies have a lot of mutual benefits for enterprise business lead generation.
Being able to drive results quickly and in the short term is a crucial part of how enterprises can get off the ground and overcome hurdles in the beginning. In this case paid-advertising is the best option. Pay-per-click advertising is one of the most common, and successful forms of marketing since it famously offers fast results and claims very strong ROI.
Here’s why PPC matters. It’s one of the strongest ROI-driving types of marketing available for SME digital marketing – with as much as 20% of marketers saying it offers them the best returns, and a full 37% saying it offers at least medium ROI. Data from Google says businesses see $2 in return, for every $1 spent on paid-search engine ads (on average), making a SME PPC a no-brainer.
Plus SME PPC can help your business in key areas:
- Getting sales results immediately, as soon as campaigns go live.
- Driving revenue for sales, seasonal events, and holidays.
- Helping to promote brand recognition when competing against a dominant competitor.
- To subsidize a complete multi-channel SME internet marketing campaign.
- To help provide keyword performance data for more efficient search engine optimization.
Long-term strategies involve organic optimization, social-media, and content marketing. Search engine optimization is one of the single most popular, and successful types of digital marketing. An estimated 53% of all internet traffic happens through search, and 40% of all internet revenue is driven by SEO. A long-term SME internet marketing plan simply can’t exclude SEO.
SEO can help ensure organic business traffic in the long-term with strategies that can help your website:
- Build a return customer base and improve loyalty.
- Net sales through search engines.
- Generate sustainable, passive website traffic through search engine rankings.
- Increase social media traffic as well as social media sharing.
- Improve sales and revenue affordably, without an expensive ad budget.
Content marketing as a foundation
Content is famously king and taking a multi-channel SME digital marketing path is no different, since content is going to be the foundation to every other pathway.
Why is content so important for businesses?
Content is the starting point for basically every key part of online marketing. For search optimization, social-media, PPC, and more – the goal of driving visitors to your website won’t mean a thing if there’s no content for them when they get there.
Search engines see content as a primary ranking-algorithm factor, and a lot of social-media platforms emphasize content as well. Enterprise organizations should focus on a content marketing strategy that segues into their other strategies – keyword research, blogs, cornerstone, social-media, and even paid-social media advertising. Since search engines use content as such an important ranking signal, this will help business gain more shares/inbound links, helping them catch customers and gain sales leads within the SEO sales funnel.
EAT content and “needs met”
One of the most important new SME internet marketing concepts is Google’s EAT (which stands for “expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) as a guiding principle for what makes good content. It emphasizes to marketers the growing importance of legitimate and trustworthy content.
Google’s “EAT” content concept works as a guide for SMEs using SEO and content together. It specifies that a “high quality page should have a beneficial purpose and achieve that purpose well.”
The idea of “purpose” here is very important since it hints at another concept introduced in Google’s search quality evaluator guidelines about good content that meet’s the threshold of providing “needs met” for your visitors.
The best SME digital marketing campaign will always put site visitors and potential customers first. Content creation, blogs, landing-pages, and other cornerstone content should always be built with the primary focus of “how can I help visitors get what they need?”
This “needs met” approach to high-quality, authoritative content can tie into the keyword research, content marketing, and SEO that your business is already doing. A good rule for quality content (that’s built for SEO) is to follow Google’s webmaster guidelines:
- Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
- Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you, or to a Google employee. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
- Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.
- Don’t deceive your users.
Search engine optimization
SME SEO is a key part of reliable growth and it’s an important part of lead generation for small and medium size enterprises. A total 92% of small business owners think that having a website is the most important SME digital marketing strategy (of course!), of those a whopping 89% believe that SEO is important.
SEO means adjusting and curating your website for the algorithms that search engines use to index and rank pages. Good SEO means being able to rank higher for the search keywords that matter to your business and that can bring in important customers looking for exactly what you offer – usually by adjusting a range of factors (including code, design, content, meta-data, structure, and a lot more).
SEO offers the best ROI of any SME digital marketing strategy, largely because it’s relatively low cost and because it can offer a way to passively drive organic traffic in the long-term. A Search Engine Journal survey found that 49% of people claimed it offered them the strongest growth; Data from Statista shows that 32% of marketers worldwide say SEOs offer them the best results.
It can be a crucial step for catching SME business leads at crucial stages of the “shopping funnel” since SEO can help put businesses at every step: including with high-traffic beginning queries, and long-tail end-stage searches where shoppers are ready to convert.
Paid search engine advertising
Pay-per-click advertising is a well-known option for every business on the internet. For SME digital marketing it’s important to understand why PPC marketing is important – and just how exactly it’s fits this category business.
Most enterprise business owners have heard of PPC and are likely aware of how successful it is. PPC visitors are 1.5X more likely to convert than organic visitors, and it’s one of the single best ways to drive traffic to your site – since it can put your brand straight at the top of page 1 in search engines like Google/Bing. According to Google, on average businesses can get an average of 2 to 1 for their budget investment in Google search engine ads.
That’s an amazing ROI which means it’s a great option for a SME digital-marketing path toward lead generation and better website traffic. Wolfgang Digital’s 2020 KPI report shows that paid-search advertising drives an incredible 34% of online revenue. It’s simply not possible to be competitive without using SME PPC – this channel is crucial.
Plus search PPC can also improve SEO performance as well!
There’s no direct link between SME search ads and SEO, businesses that optimize both are more likely to improve their traffic in both. This is because there is actually a lot of overlap between PPC and SEO. If you are performing the same industry keyword research, and keyword density, for the same platform, then you are already half-way to completing key strategies across both marketing channels.
Paid social media advertising
Social media is another area of internet marketing that’s become the new normal for small enterprises – it’s an important way of gaining referral traffic to your brand’s website, generating new leads, building a loyal customer following and building a brand in general.
In fact 61% of small enterprises invest in social media marketing.
Social-media traffic for 2020 has increase by 60% since last year alone. Facebook is no one of the largest brands in the world with more than 2.7 billion regular users – and it’s the second largest ad network on earth, second only to Google. Plus, social-media hosted PPC ads include options across Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube, Twitter, and more – all include some style of PPC making them some of the best social media sites for marketing.
These days 78% of marketers claim that both search PPC and social media PPC combined are critical to getting their brand out. As much as 40% say that they would like to increase their advertising budget – a good indication of just how important SME PPC is even across social media platforms.
Plus, paid media marketing across these platforms offers other advantages as well:
- A wider range of ad styles not available in search ads; including video ads, user-feed ads, messenger ads, in-platform purchases, off-site remarketing, etc.
- Visually interesting and graphic style ads that can help SME digital marketing strategies by curating a brand’s image.
- Generate a following across social media sites for brand content.
Take advantage of valuable analytics data
One of the most neglected and underappreciated parts of internet marketing is how valuable data can be. For effective SME internet marketing, relying on data is crucial to measuring success and even catching major problems.
The two best platforms for gathering data and measuring your business KPIs are Google’s Analytics and Google’s Search Console.
Analytics helps companies track how visitors arrive on their site and tracks their behavior as they navigate the site. It also provide a wide range of customizable reports and metrics to help understand your SME goals including goal completions, conversion rate (CR), marketing success (measuring traffic for organic, PPC, etc.) bounce-rate, funnel flow, sessions, return visitors, and more.
Analytics also offers even more in-depth data for eCommerce focused SME digital marketing with retail specific reports for product performance, estimated revenue, checkout behavior and more. For growing enterprises this data is critical to understand how to streamline business growth, where to focus marketing budgets, understanding target-audiences and more.
Google’s search console is a free tool that helps companies measure their site’s traffic, see keyword performance, fix issues, and receive messages from Google about website problems. Search Console is a very important tool for SME SEO since it can help improve keyword research and provide data on search keyword rankings – including data on clicks, impressions, click-through-rate, and average rankings.
The Performance report shows metrics about organic traffic coming to a business’s website as well as each individual URL.
- Clicks show the number of times people click on a site’s link from the Google search results page.
- Impressions represent how many links to your site searchers saw in Google search results. Essentially how many time’s your site appears for search results – even without clicks.
- Click-through-rate is a simple measurement that represents how many clicks a page/query/domain receives divided by the number of impressions.
- Average position represents the topmost result for your site for a given search keyword.
Avoiding the most common mistakes
A good SME digital marketing strategy can be a huge deal for your business – but a poorly implemented one can dampen results, or worse lead to losses.
A good idea is to go through a technical SEO site audit checklist to make sure you’re not already engaging in bad practices for SEO. This also means checking for technical issues that could be damaging user experience by causing your website to function poorly.
Avoiding the most common SEO mistakes is the best way of improving rankings, gain site traffic, increasing leads, and improving user experience which can improve other important business metrics for how customers move along the shopping funnel (metrics like bounce rate, site exits, and shorter time-on-site).
Is it worthwhile to hire an SEM agency?
One final consideration in the world of SME digital marketing is “should we hire an agency?”
For smaller enterprises that have to prioritize efficient budgeting and low-cost returns the prospect of outsourcing digital marketing might seem unrealistic. But SEM (search engine management, including both SEO and PPC campaigns that work together) is such a valuable method for business growth that it can’t be ignored.
The reason why SEM is important is that it can help smaller enterprises increase their brand visibility, grow traffic reliably and it’s one of the most proven methods for consistent site traffic. By using the strategies we’ve listed, you can click-through rate and boost sales across more channels by investing in organic and paid search together. Plus taking advantage of SEM agency services means you can get professional resources, a dedicated account management team, and back-ground experiences from other clients in your same niche.
Contact our team to learn more about SME digital marketing services for SEO, search engine PPC, and social media advertising.