4 ways to help your business come up in search

Digital marketing is an essential part of any marketing plan

Leona Watson started Cheeky Food Events, a corporate team building cooking events company, 15 years ago. Google hadn’t been around for long and it wasn’t yet an advertising platform for small business.

Today, digital marketing is an essential part of her business plan. Watson taught herself and shares valuable advice on how to use the technology.

1. Allocate money for marketing - don’t just spend what’s leftover at the end of the month

Watson knows for a small business, every cent counts. She says: “It’s more important to put any money you make back into the business rather than paying for a nicer office or a new phone. They’re nice to have, but are they going to deliver customers?”

Watson quickly realised Google AdWords is a low-risk investment: “I tracked where my online leads came from and measured the ROI, and Google was working. One of the great things about online is that you can set a budget, however small, and start advertising.”

2. Track, track, track. It’s just like cash flow – you’ve got to be across it week in, week out

There are different areas and ways to track depending on your business model and how you're using online, whether it's to drive sales, connect with businesses or for branding. Watson uses Google Adwords to drive leads, find her target market and hone her messaging to attract new business.

“I test ads to see what clicks with people and just as importantly, what doesn’t. If something doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean you stop, you just refine and try something different.”

3. Stay on top of the evolving market

Every month you're not online, your competitors are. Watson says you can easily start with a few keywords you know people will use to find your product or service.

“The digital landscape is always evolving so you’ve got to stay on top of that. For example, 3 years ago, the concept of crowd funding didn’t exist. It would only have been about angel investing. So things change. Make spreadsheets your friend so you can monitor your cash flow, track your analysis and set projections,” Watson says.

4. Learn how to grow your audience

A strong online presence makes small business more visible and can be used to drive customers. But did you know, according to Richard Flanagan, head of business marketing for Google Australia and New Zealand, digitally-engaged small businesses are over 50% more likely to grow and 7 times more likely to start exporting?

Leona Watson and Richard Flanagan presented as part of the City’s free seminar series for businesses, Small Business Digital 101. You can watch the video.

The next seminar on Wednesday 25 September will focus on how businesses can effectively use LinkedIn to network and generate leads. Express your interest now.

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