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How to Organically Grow Your Audience Over Time As A Business Owner

Ariel Lavender

One of things we hear so much from prospective clients is that they want to be able to put more effort into actions that will benefit their online presence, but don’t feel like they have enough time, especially to break down concepts that make no sense to them, like SEO (Or Search Engine Optimization). And admittedly, SEO as a concept is a bit harder to grasp in the sense that there is no concrete path to bringing people organically on your website. Things are always changing in the SEO world, whether it’s because people are constantly trying to find ways to “cheat the system” through Black Hat SEO, or big search engines like Google simply changing how websites are ranked to better serve website visitors. 

And of course, there is a huge amount of work that goes into the backend of websites to give your website the best chances of organically growing over time with different strategies like finding the right web host, optimizing page experience, making your website mobile friendly and more. And these are things that for the average business owner requires a lot of research and time spent, and is not necessarily the best use of time. Telemitra offers support in this respect to lift the weight of learning curves and industry expertise, so that all of our websites are given the best chance to grow over time. 

That being said, business owners are still the best people to give consistent and meaningful additions to their online presence that go a long way towards organically growing your audience over time without relying on the financial investment of PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising. Telemitra used to automatically offer help with social media and writing full blog posts including research, but it ended up costing our clients more money than we felt it was worth simply due to the amount of research or questions we had to ask in order to give our clients the best quality deliverables. 

We always want to be giving our clients the most meaningful support so that as business owners, they are able to gain the benefit of experts without having to lose large amounts of money for money that doesn’t need to be spent. So over the years, we’ve found that the sweet spot is either getting our clients set up with a system that they can self sustain themselves with, or to do support work where the client is working on something they have expertise in, and then handing it to us so that we can help implement it so that they don’t lose time on something that would take a while to figure out. 

With these two categories in mind, we compiled some actions that small business owners can take to build their online presence, especially done consistently over a long period of time, that takes very little time out of the day to day. Let us know if you have any actions that you take to build up your online presence, or if you have questions about how to implement these concepts in your business!

Blog Posts

Writing blog posts is the biggest most important aspect of a company’s online presence that we recommend to busy business owners in order to build up SEO. And experts agree, with leaders at Hubspot and beyond all recommending the development of blog posts to support healthy SEO growth. Yet, at least with all of our clients, only a small percent spend the time it takes to write a blog post at least once a month.

So first off, how do blog posts improve SEO? To put it in its most simple terms, when writing posts with information either talking to a single topic or answering a question or problem, Google is able to find keywords associated with someone googling that topic, question, or problem that needs to be solved.

An example of this is the search for the answer to the question “How to Choose a Kayak”. If you were to type this question into Google, the first options are going to be Ads on this topic, indicated by a small bolded “Ad” text next to the url. The results right below are going to be the websites that are given the highest ranking possible by Google, because of a combination of how many blog posts they’ve written, how user-friendly the site is, how many people stay for a long time after choosing that link in order to read, and more. And if you look through this, the sites that made it to the top make sense. The top 5 pages that you see include REI and Dick Sporting Goods, both companies that have a lot of resources to create blog posts many times, over, and will have a lot of traffic from paid ads over time.

In general, unless you are in the same sphere of competition as companies like Dick Sporting Goods or REI, it’s better to narrow the field of competition in your blog posts and key words. The best way to do this is to tailor your blog posts to a more specific niche audience. Let’s take the example of Google Searching kayak information a bit further and input the perspective of a kayak rental company in Augusta Maine. If you were a company like this that wasn’t planning on competing with Dick Sports Goods, but still wanted to be able to generate traffic with your blog posts, tailoring your blog posts to fit the region is a great way to be able to still get traffic! Some ideas for this could be “Best places to kayak in Central Maine”, “How to Kayak in the Winter” or “Kayaking on Estuaries”. If you input these into Google, you get a lot more examples of smaller businesses shining. In fact, when I searched Kayaking on Estuaries, I was actually able to find a top 5 result of an actual Kayak Rental company in Coastal Maine!

So based on this information, this is the desired flow of action: Someone living in Maine is interested in kayaking, and specifically in kayaking on an estuary. They start by googling that information, and then find this coast rental company. After reading the blog post, and finding that they are excited to see that information, they either follow a link on that blog post, or try to find more information applicable to their situation on this website. Either after one visit, or even multiple, they realize that they can actually buy a service from this business that they now trust after reading such helpful information from, and eventually become a customer of that company. By creating blog posts that are very specific to your field and to your region, you can create a trusted source of information that people primarily come to learn about their topic of interest, and then second come to trust your business.

If you can write around 1 blog post per month, you can make a huge difference in your SEO and how people come to find your website. This is something that has long term benefits for your site, and isn’t something that immediately increases your audience. But by separating the time it takes to just write once a month, you are giving your website something that is unique to you, and your audience. If you are a client of Telemitra’s, make sure to send over a request for your own blog post template! This way you can have a beautiful blog post template that’s easy to use and add images into!

Writing blog posts is the biggest most important aspect of a company’s online presence that we recommend to busy business owners in order to build up SEO. And experts agree, with leaders at Hubspot and beyond all recommending the development of blog posts to support healthy SEO growth. Yet, at least with all of our clients, only a small percent spend the time it takes to write a blog post at least once a month.

So first off, how do blog posts improve SEO? To put it in its most simple terms, when writing posts with information either talking to a single topic or answering a question or problem, Google is able to find keywords associated with someone googling that topic, question, or problem that needs to be solved.

An example of this is the search for the answer to the question “How to Choose a Kayak”. If you were to type this question into Google, the first options are going to be Ads on this topic, indicated by a small bolded “Ad” text next to the url. The results right below are going to be the websites that are given the highest ranking possible by Google, because of a combination of how many blog posts they’ve written, how user-friendly the site is, how many people stay for a long time after choosing that link in order to read, and more. And if you look through this, the sites that made it to the top make sense. The top 5 pages that you see include REI and Dick Sporting Goods, both companies that have a lot of resources to create blog posts many times, over, and will have a lot of traffic from paid ads over time.

In general, unless you are in the same sphere of competition as companies like Dick Sporting Goods or REI, it’s better to narrow the field of competition in your blog posts and key words. The best way to do this is to tailor your blog posts to a more specific niche audience. Let’s take the example of Google Searching kayak information a bit further and input the perspective of a kayak rental company in Augusta Maine. If you were a company like this that wasn’t planning on competing with Dick Sports Goods, but still wanted to be able to generate traffic with your blog posts, tailoring your blog posts to fit the region is a great way to be able to still get traffic! Some ideas for this could be “Best places to kayak in Central Maine”, “How to Kayak in the Winter” or “Kayaking on Estuaries”. If you input these into Google, you get a lot more examples of smaller businesses shining. In fact, when I searched Kayaking on Estuaries, I was actually able to find a top 5 result of an actual Kayak Rental company in Coastal Maine!

So based on this information, this is the desired flow of action: Someone living in Maine is interested in kayaking, and specifically in kayaking on an estuary. They start by googling that information, and then find this coast rental company. After reading the blog post, and finding that they are excited to see that information, they either follow a link on that blog post, or try to find more information applicable to their situation on this website. Either after one visit, or even multiple, they realize that they can actually buy a service from this business that they now trust after reading such helpful information from, and eventually become a customer of that company. By creating blog posts that are very specific to your field and to your region, you can create a trusted source of information that people primarily come to learn about their topic of interest, and then second come to trust your business.

If you can write around 1 blog post per month, you can make a huge difference in your SEO and how people come to find your website. This is something that has long term benefits for your site, and isn’t something that immediately increases your audience. But by separating the time it takes to just write once a month, you are giving your website something that is unique to you, and your audience. If you are a client of Telemitra’s, make sure to send over a request for your own blog post template! This way you can have a beautiful blog post template that’s easy to use and add images into!

Social Media Linking

If you’ve read our post on developing a social media schedule, you know that being able to consistently post on social media is a good thing to do, even if it’s a time investment. But if you don’t have time to be consistently posting, or have the resources to work with a professional content creator for social media, then something you can do is create links between your website and your social media to increase your output of social media posts, and help improve your SEO ranking. 

What this means is that if you create a social media post intended to share a page from your website with your online audience, you don’t have to do as much legwork to create the text and images for a social media post. This can be especially useful in conjunction with the creation of blog posts, because you can create a loop between creating a blog post, and then having an easy way to just take a snippet of the text, link to the post, and as long as you have images on your blog post page, you can even have images automatically added onto it. But if you need more posts than 1 post per month, then you can create social media posts by using different pages as inspiration to work from. If you have a sale, being able to write about the sale and then posting a link to your contact us page or to your product page is a great option. If you sell a service, being able to talk about that service and then link to the page talking more specifically about it can be a good option! And again, make sure to take full advantage of having a partner like Telemitra on your side if you are one of our clients! We can help you create shorter landing pages for events or sales, and if you need images to use for your social media, you can request a few images to be used in social media posts! But using methods like this, especially by linking to existing pages on your website in social media posts, you can make it so that you have a source for new content, and by linking from social media, search engines will reward you for the multiple places that people enter your website from! 

Reviews

Reviews and your businesses presence on different reviewing platforms is the next recommendation we give to small business owners looking to expand their audience. Google in particular has an algorithm and a relationship with Google My Business that rewards what is called E-A-T, or Expertise, Authority, Trust. What this means is that above all, they reward businesses that are able to communicate that they are experts in their field, that they have authority on speaking to their niche audience, and that visitors to their site and customers to their business have trust in them.

What this means in terms of SEO is simply that by building up good reviews, especially on Google My Business, Google is able to tell what a company does, and that customers trust them. And because of that, it factors into the many facets of your SEO ranking, and can mean that you can go up in the page rankings from getting good reviews and responding to the reviews you get. A study by Darren Shaw from Whitespark found that in 2018, Google My Business reviews accounted for around 15% of your ranking given to you by the Google Algorithm. This is a huge percentage for one aspect of your SEO strategy, especially since there are hundreds of things you can do to improve your ranking on Google.

Making sure you are active on Google My Business and other review sites like Yelp or Facebook are really important, but then actually getting reviews for your business makes a huge difference towards expanding your audience. We recommend even just small things, like noting on business cards or other pieces of collateral that you are available for review on Google, Yelp or Facebook, and even leaving an option for small rewards like a discount or a freebie by leaving a review can be great ways to encourage happy clients or customers to help you out. Just make sure that you are careful to note that the goal is to give honest reviews! If people feel like you are asking for only positive reviews in exchange for discounts or free services, then that can go towards damaging trust. But by noting that all you’re looking for is honesty, you can build up the trust of new customers as well. If you happen to have long time customers or clients who have been happy with you, letting them know that they can help you out as a loyal customer is a great way to continue to build up that relationship, and to get a more in depth review from someone who has worked with you for a long period of time.

Newsletter

            The final thing we recommend business owners to do to improve their SEO is to create a consistent newsletter that, similar to social media, links to your website. For newsletters, it is generally considered best practices to release a newsletter once per month or more frequently, but in the case of busy business owners, we want to encourage consistency, even if you don’t have the time to send out frequent newsletters! In this case, even quarterly newsletters can still help remind your audience that your organization exists, and give news about your organization or events that are going on. 

            We recommend tying together the blog posts that you would be writing during the time before releasing a newsletter, so in the case of the example of releasing quarterly newsletters, releasing 3 blog posts with your newsletter! You can also talk about the services or goods that you sell, and link to these pages, similarly to how you would create the social media posts mentioned above as well. Make sure that if you don’t have a newsletter template, that you ask Telemitra to help developing the preliminary template for you. Depending on where your priorities are, you can also create the content for the newsletter and then ask Telemitra to input the information into the created template to save on time. 

            By creating these newsletters, you can remind your existing audience that you exist, promote special events or sales, and provide another location that people are going to your website from. 

Closing Thoughts

It’s completely understandable that for so many business owners, the long term actions to build up an online audience can seem overwhelming. And while there is a lot that goes into building up your online presence there are some very real and achievable actions that you can take as a business owner to build yourself up! From the very small percentage of our clients that are actively a part of all of the recommended paths listed above, I can see the long term results of that so clearly, both through analytics and anecdotes, and more than anything else, I hope that more of our clients can feel a little less daunted in tackling these things that can help expand your business.