May 26, 2021

Must Have Online Marketing Services for Small Businesses

While there are many different small business digital marketing services available to use, here are 3 which might benefit you the most.

What is online marketing?

‍With so many digital small business marketing services, it can be hard to know which will work best for your small business. Some basic knowledge will help you set the right goal and expectations. Besides, it can help you understand what you are buying if you ask a small business digital marketing agency to help.


We should begin by setting up some basic definitions of terms that are used widely in the industry, but are not always easy to understand. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather cover the most common definitions.

What you don’t know about your website choices can hurt your business

Many people do not realize the impact a poor site can have on all your online marketing efforts. Your website is the foundation upon which the rest of your online marketing efforts are built.

This is why it is absolutely essential that your website is optimized for content (search engine optimization), speed (mobile accessibility), and comprehension (web design)

Search engine optimization what it is and is not.

For many small businesses search engine optimization is the magic thing that happens that suddenly makes you rank 1 on Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Unfortunately, this is not the case. 

Google’s main focus is on classifying and structuring information so it can serve the right information to its users. If the users find what they are looking for, they come back. At its essence, that is that Google does.

As a small business owner, there are three aspects of search that you should ensure you understand and one you should at least be familiar with.

  • On page SEO: How to make it easier for Google to understand your content and where it should be indexed.
  • Off page SEO: For our purposes, this is mainly link building. Ensuring authoritative sites point to you
  • Local SEO: This is critical for any small business, so we will go through it in some detail here, but for more detail information on the topic see our post: Small Business SEO Services - Practical Guide to Local SEO 
  • Last, we have, Technical SEO: this involves setting up codes and files that are best left to someone with experience in the area.

Paid Advertising and Search

We go into this in more detail below. A paid search or pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaign requires a deeper understanding of your target audience and potential customer than in the recent past. 

As the cookie passes into history, we will not be able to lean on it as a crutch to filter our bad marketing. In today’s world, you need to understand how your customer makes purchase decisions about your product or service.

One place to start is to mine your current customer base and google AdWords conversion data. This may yield some insights into the best target audience for local business. 

Social media & content marketing

The effectiveness of free social media marketing has been dwindling as Facebook, Instagram, etc. have effectively limited the percentage of your followers who see what you post. 

If you want your blog post or social media post to have any type of audience exposure, you are almost forced into boosting or promoting that content. These companies have made it much more difficult for smaller businesses to break through.

There are still ways to connect with your social media audience, but it takes much more planning and strategy than in the past.

Email marketing still works and works well.

As we discussed in Stop Getting Trashed! 3 Easy Email Marketing Hacks. Get Better Results Today , Email remains one of the most effective ways to promote your business online.

In terms of return on investment on your marketing efforts, this tactic is hard to beat. The main challenge is obtaining that precious email. Offering valuable content or information as a call to action works well.

Classical marketing is not dead

Quite the contrary, with the death of the cookie, classical marketing techniques and skills will be more important than ever.

We cover much of this in our post Surprising Similarities & Differences in Small Business Marketing, but I can summarize the key points here as well.

The fundamentals of marketing are not size dependent. Many small businesses, however, assume the costs are. The surprising truth is that is not always the case.

The truth is that a small business can produce as effective marketing as a large company if they follow a few simple principles and steps. You may not achieve the scale, but you will identify, attract, convert, and keep customers every bit as well

  • Define your target market: A target market requires an identifiable market segment where the product or service has a distinct competitive advantage.
  • Develop your ideal customer: When you know your ideal customer, you will understand their emotional needs and how to motivate them.
  • Messaging testing works: If you follow our approach, any small businesses can develop ads that work and the big corporations.
  • Focus on the core strategies: awareness, interest, trial, and repeat.
  • Build a marketing plan: Without a road map, it is very easy to get lost.

The Basic Online Services Most Small Businesses Should Consider

With so many digital small business marketing services, it can be hard to know which will work best for your small business. It can take some trial-and-error, especially when you're working on marketing your company yourself. Some basic knowledge will help you set the right goal and expectations. Besides, it can help you understand what you are buying if you ask a small business digital marketing agency to help.

As a basic review, I put together a list of three essential services to help any owner know.

Digital Advertising and Online Marketing Services for Small Businesses

Digital advertising can take on several forms, but the most common is Pay-Per-Click (PPC). As the term implies, with PPC, you pay a platform a fee when a visitor takes some action, which is most commonly a click, but it can be a view, etc.. PPC is a staple for industry, including social media platforms, search engines, YouTube, etc.

Not all PPC is the same. There are many different forms it can take. If you're thinking about which type of PPC advertising to include in your advertising campaigns, check out this article from WordStream about the abilities of Google ads and Google Adwords compared to Facebook ads and Facebook Ads Manager.

Here are some of the biggest reasons to use PPC as part of your digital advertising plan for your small business marketing strategy:

The Benefits of PPC Advertising

  1. The ability to serve ads right when the visitor is looking for specific marketing solutions
  2. The ability to reach a global marketplace
  3. Unlike analog methods like TV, where you pay for the number of people who see your ad, with online marketing, you only pay when a person clicks, views, etc.
  4. PPC allows for retargeting people who have previously viewed your ad but did not convert, e.g., purchase, sign-up, etc. This gives you additional chances to increase your overall conversion rate
  5. There is a direct correlation between advertising spending to a business's outcome, which calculates a return on advertising spending (ROAS) much easier.
Communication and telecommuting during COVID

Every Small Business Can Still Use Email for Digital Marketing Services

Even with all the advances in technology, email is still one of the best methods to drive conversion. It is typically the least expensive of all your options. Therefore, it generally has the greatest ROAS. This especially true for B2B businesses.

Any digital business can use an email service, but that doesn't mean running an email marketing campaign on your own for a small business is easy or will be successful. Email campaigns take time and effort. First, you need to understand your customer, so you have a clear picture of what they need and motivate them to act. Then, you need to create a message that will stand out from the competition. This is difficult, especially when starting from scratch.

While it is challenging, a small business can excel at email marketing when executed correctly. It opens a good means of communication between your customers and your business, and it can build a stronger relationship in the long run.

If you're looking to build an email marketing campaign for yourself, Steven MacDonald at SuperOffice wrote a piece with some of the best email marketing examples you can think through. It is a helpful guide, but success depending on knowing your audience and what it will take to motive them.

What to Know About SEO

Everyone loves Search engine optimization (SEO) because it is free. But few recognize the time and skill it takes to do it correctly. Therefore, many who try it give up. SEO is a useful digital marketing service for small businesses when done well. To do it well, requires a very intensive process. That said, the return on that time investment can be massive. SEO can boost your search results and ranking, so you are more visible on various platforms and search engines. For more information, you can check out a post on the same topic from Digital Current about SEO.

Localization, or local SEO, is also a powerful search engine optimization tactic to deploy. Google and other search engines account for the location of both businesses and searchers. By localizing posts, making them relevant to the places nearest to your small business, you can leverage Google's algorithm to your advantage.

The 3 Digital Marketing Services Every Small Business Owner Should Know

Here's a recap of the services to know:

  1. PPC involves paying for ads to be shown in various places on the internet, relevant to your product or service. You then pay for everyone that views and clicks on the ads. Relevance and recency are the two main benefits
  2. Email Marketing is as important in 2020 as it was in 2005. When done well, it is a way to directly reach your audience and provide them with useful, relevant information that is likely to cause them to act.
  3. SEO is the holy grail that everyone seeks, but few find. You are more likely to be successful if you have the right keyword strategy and leverage localization.

For more in-depth information on all of these, look at our service pages on each for more details or contact us for a free consultation.

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About the Author

Brian Cairns, CEO of Prostrategix Consulting. Over 25 years of business experience as a corporate executive, entrepreneur, and small business owner. For more information, please visit my LinkenIn profile

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