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An Example Small Business Online Marketing Report

A few weeks ago I began taking dance lessons at a local dance studio in Chicago. I loved what I was learning so I volunteered to put together a list of online marketing suggestions and notes my instructor could use in growing her business.

Below, you’ll see examples of big wins a small business like hers can implement to begin competing against larger, more established rivals. If any of this information gives you an idea for your business, feel free to leave a comment below or contact us to learn how Item-9 can help you push forward with your online marketing campaigns.

Competition and Website Analysis

First, I ran an SEO competition report for the keywords “Chicago dance class” using Market Samurai. You can hover over the headings on the page to see what each acronym means, but note that the site is at a disadvantage to these competitors in almost every realm.

A Time Out Chicago Marketing Idea Quickly Emerges

The top hit on Market Samurai is from an article from 2007 from Time Out Chicago. That’s five years ago and just as in a practical sense, the article probably needs to be updated anyway.

You could probably solicit Time Out to rewrite the article (i.e. you rewrite the article with current info and submit it directly to the editors), making sure that your studio is mentioned somewhere in the top five. (On further research I learned that actually, they did update the article, but they used a totally different title that uses other keywords. Why not hold two top spots re: dance classes, eh?)

Or…you could rewrite the article yourself, post it to your website and then alert dozens of other sites that it’s available.

Beating the System by Self-Publishing Dance Class Information

The last point is a big one. A full-fledged marketing campaign would have you creating articles similar to the above mentioned one often. Similarly, you could also start a Chicago Dance Class directory that would:

  1. Allow you rank super-high for the search term,
  2. Charge for directory placing and full control and
  3. Advertise your own studio for free.

Either direction you take, you’ll probably want to start thinking about a more adaptable technology to drive your website.

I recommend WordPress due to its ability to be optimized for SEO and its ability to power a multitude of different site types (here is an example of directory software that runs on WordPress).

This would also allow you to easily add and edit content on your site–content you use to power your search engine ranking to push to other parts of your site, including signing up for classes.

Even More Big Win Marketing Ideas

  1. You can always useĀ advertising (i.e. media buying) to drive visitors to your site. You could even reach out to TimeOut to negotiate getting an ad (or a mention) on those dance class articles. You generally pay per impression and your ads get turned out once the budget hits.
  2. You need a better capture strategy on the home page of your site.
  3. People love photos of themselves and their friends on your Facebook page. Keep posting (and tagging) photos.
  4. You may want to begin posting to Pinterest. It’s community is skewed heavily towards women and photography.
  5. You canĀ verify site user behavior through surveys , i.e. “What would inspire you to purchase?” and “Did you find what you were looking for? If not, what was it?”.
  6. You should push Yelp reviews from your clients a lot more.
  7. You can run giveaways to increase social media signups using RaffleCopter (including a custom entry of Yelp reviews).
  8. Create a Google+ Local (formerly Google Places and formerly Google Local) entry for your business. This service also solitics reviews–ones that get used directly inside Google and Google Maps (another giveaway!).
  9. Collect email addresses at all your events using an app such as Chimpadeedoo (forget Aweber–Mailchimp is where it’s at).
  10. No matter what, make sure you’re recording all your increased efforts with an Analytics service, such as Google Analytics or KissMetrics. Otherwise, you won’t know which campaign works and where your energy is best spent in the future.
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