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One of the most common questions we receive from small business owners is, “How can I improve my SEO?” Over the past month we’ve been featuring posts with ideas for how to achieve this through social networking, organic backlinking, and Google My Business. In this post, we’re focusing on how you can improve SEO through advertising.

What kind of advertising are we talking about?

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about advertising? If you immediately conjure a billboard with your face on it, or an infomercial for the Thigh Master 2000, we’re happy to report that there are other (better) options out there. If your goal is to increase your web visibility and improve SEO, then digital advertising is the way to go.

What are my options for digital advertising?

Digital advertising options run the gamut from banners and sidebars to paid search results to social media ads to email campaigns. There are dozens of options to fit your style and your budget.

Direct Email

How many times have you been on a website and gotten a pop-up asking you to enter your email address to get an introductory offer? As annoying as those can be, if you’re really considering a purchase, you’ll probably go for it. Now be prepared to receive promotional emails for the rest of your life. Email subscriptions are a fantastic way for a small business to stay at the forefront of customer’s minds even after they’ve clicked off of your site.

PPC Display Advertising

Google Ads is an easy-to-use program to help you secure PPC (Pay-per-click) ads on a wide variety of websites. With these types of ads, you only pay when a user actually clicks on your link, which means you still get a lot of screen time for free. You can also purchase this kind of display advertising directly from the blog or website you’re interested in.

Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – it’s an ad that will show up when users type relevant keywords into a search engine. How often your ad shows up will depend on your budget for CPC (cost per click). As your reach your daily or monthly max, the ad will show up less frequently.

Social Media Marketing

In a previous post we talked about using social media for organic networking. Social media is also a major source for ads. This could be a display ad like you’d see on Facebook, or it could be sponsored content from an influencer in your industry. Fashion, beauty, and lifestyle businesses have been particularly successful in using Youtubers with a large following to share and promote their brands. Video is especially effective if you have a service or product with visible results.

But I don’t have the budget!

If you’re a small business, you probably don’t have the same advertising budget as a major corporation. At the same time, we’ve found there’s some truth in the old adage, “You have spend money to make money.” It is impossible to succeed without customers. It’s impossible to get customers if nobody knows you exist.

Whatever your advertising budget is, you will want to make sure you are spending it efficiently. Just like with organic back linking and social networking, if you are going to spend money on ad space, make sure it is going to places that are relevant to your brand and your industry. This is pretty straightforward. If your main product is low-calorie protein powder, don’t buy ad space on a website for ukulele enthusiasts.

How will advertising improve my SEO performance?

In some ways, digital advertising, especially with PPC ads and links, is a totally different angle for promotion than SEO. A lot of digital advertising is very direct, whereas SEO works more subtly. But I like to think of these like the two ends of a battery – they have opposite charges, but together they produce energy.

Search engine algorithms elevate sources they deem to be credible and trustworthy. When people see the same brand or product popping up again and again, it builds a sense of curiosity in the product and confidence in the brand. The more traffic you generate from ads, the higher chances you have of gaining new customers who can give you great reviews. The more positive reviews and external mentions you have, the more people will trust your brand, which in turn will make those web crawlers more likely to rank your website higher.

Lily Dunn

Author Lily Dunn

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