Just because you do not have the capital of national brands, does not mean you cannot rank next to, or even above the national competition. Research shows that companies spend an average of 7.5 percent of their total revenue on marketing. Companies in the tech field are among the biggest spenders with 13.8 percent of revenue allocated to marketing, compared to consumer packaged goods companies who spend 10.9 percent on campaigns. Whether your marketing budget is higher, lower, or in line with these numbers, it is important to consider how to best rank high without breaking your budget.
National Brands and Marketing
Have you ever wondered how much national brands spend on advertising? Some of America’s biggest brands spend millions and even billions of dollars each year to get their name in front of the masses. In 2014, the top 200 advertisers in the U.S. spent a whopping $137.8 billion on advertising, a 2 percent increase from the year before. These big spenders are not just limited to one industry. Some of the biggest advertisers are found across all sectors which show that any business has the potential to rank.
In 2012, AT&T spent a total of $1.59 billion in measured media. The popular mobile phone service provider is the nation’s most advertised brand, accounting for more than 1 percent of the U.S. measured media spending in 2012. Other national brands also have the funds and sizable marketing department required to deliver a high frequency of ads online, on TV, and in print. However, many companies are finding clever ways to cut down on spending. Proctor & Gamble cut their ad spend down to 4.2 percent to $4.6 billion. In an attempt to achieve a higher rate of investment, the CPG giant is shifting its budget to digital advertising.
Some of America’s other big spenders include familiar names like Nissan, Target, Home Depot, Budweiser, and McDonalds. McDonalds spends an estimated $2 billion each year on advertising media at its nearly 37,000 restaurants worldwide. The fast-food conglomerate is already a household name but puts a major chunk of their profits back into marketing. Recently, McDonalds reported that they had not conducted a review of their spending in nearly 14 years. This leaves plenty of opportunity for smaller businesses to swoop in and implement more modern marketing methods, such as search engine optimization (SEO).
Ranking with Search Engine Optimization
While small businesses may not have the massive advertising budget or marketing department that the national brands possess, they can still rank as high as or even higher than the competition. Strategic search engine optimization is a powerful marketing tool that can help local businesses compete against bigger advertisers in their industry. With SEO, the ultimate goal is to provide users with the fastest, friendliest, and best online experience possible. When you implement the features that your audience wants with the keywords and phrases that the search engines look for, you can create a winning balance that pushes you to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs).
People trust the search engines to direct them to the best possible source of information, goods, or services. If your business is not on the first couple pages of the SERPs, you are losing the bulk of your target audience. While having a substantial marketing budget can help you rank high, it is not a requirement. By implementing internet marketing strategies like search engine optimization, you can attract people to your website that are already looking for the product or service that you are offering.
Implementing Strategic SEO Techniques
When used properly, online marketing strategies like SEO can help businesses build a successful internet business. However, as search engine algorithms are continually changing, it is important to stay up-to-date with these changes and evolve as needed. Start planning for your marketing strategy by performing in-depth keyword research. These are keywords that businesses use to drive targeted traffic to their website. When keyword researching, you want to stay away from keywords that are too competitive in your niche. Instead focus on local and long-tail keywords.
Content is also important to your search engine optimization strategy. Businesses must continually create and publish fresh, high-quality content not only as a way to rank for keywords, but to also create a positive user experience. In addition to having good content, you will also want to add backlinks to your website. You can build backlinks by submitting press releases or publishing content on other popular blogs in your niche. Also take the necessary steps to dominate the local search. There are a variety of tactics that are useful for boosting your local SEO, such as optimized title and meta descriptions, proper use of online directories, and the tracking and management of online reviews of your business.
The use of social media platforms is also a major component of any good SEO strategy. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram allow businesses and consumers to communicate directly, allowing for the formation of trusted relationships. Having professional business pages that include SEO tactics is not only useful, but it is a must for companies trying to grow their business. Although it has been said that social media is not a direct SEO ranking factor, there has been ample evidence to show that social signals such as shares and likes do relate to your ranking in some way.
Contact a Digital Marketing Agency
Search engine optimization is not a foolproof system. Ranking for a keyword in the search engines is an ongoing process and one that will not work 100 percent of the time. Whether you are a new or established business, it is important to really work at your SEO strategy and lay the groundwork by developing a strong website and network. Having assistance from an experienced digital marketing agency can also be invaluable. 321 Web Marketing has performed countless SEO campaigns for small businesses and has a long history of success. Contact 321 Web Marketing today for a free digital marketing evaluation.