SME digital online challenges

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How Small Businesses can Face Down big Online Challenges

People who work for themselves, and small and medium-sized businesses, face stiff challenges online: from deep-pocket Big Brands who saturate their categories to specialist niche brands that seem to always keep an edge, from trying to stay on top of social media fads or figuring out the latest Google update, the typical SME’s digital work is cut out for it.

SME websites, social media, digital & online marketing

SME business environment: websites, social media, digital & online marketing

The self employed and small business managers often don’t have the time or resources for round-the-clock website-tweaking or social-media-ing. So here are some pointers to make the most of the time and budget available.

  1. Measure your digital footprint. Quantify how you look in comparison to others in your online business category, and how relevant you are for your topics. You can’t hope for exponential improvements in performance until you understand how Google, not you, sees your or your brand’s digital footprint. Here’s a good place to start to understand your personal or brand digital footprint.
  2. Clean up your site’s technology. Google is out to punish bad tech (it interferes with search spiders, clogs up browsers, and degrades the user experience). Make it a priority to audit your platform, especially if you’re using out-of-the-box templates and lots of plug-ins, and make it lean.
  3. SLoMo. Make your site Social, Local and Mobile. Google will like your site more, so will customers — and the browsers they use to view it. The techniques and code involved in these three optimizations are distinct but are a natural fit alongside one another anyway.
  4. Content. Write fresh, original, topical content and publish it often. Google is placing less and less reliance on on-page keywords and is much more interested in the semantic meaning of your site and in how it relates to its category.
  5. Backlinks. Eliminate low quality backlinks. Google is changing how it evaluates backlinks (and internal links) and is looking for new types of signals from them. The chances are you have some which are harming your PageRank. At the same time, build the good types of backlink.
  6. Digital Marketing. Embrace it. Optimize your content and push it out via all distribution channels — Web, blogs, social, file sharing, apps. Synch it all together so it works consistently off your site.
  7. Optimize landing pages. Not just your organic search landing pages. If you’re using AdWords (and other paid/bid media, even affiliates) to drive traffic to your site, you’ll reduce your bid costs and improve your ad positions if your landing pages are correctly configured.

The above can quickly generate performance improvements ranging from the significant to the extraordinary, as we’ve found in some recent projects.

Lastly, keep abreast of change. Check back our Digital Futures section to read about factors shaping the future of the Web. We research them so you don’t have to. And read our free downloadable guide, SEO Primer for Business Owners.


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