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7 digital marketing basics for small business owners

Digital marketing basics

Digital marketing is still a scary term for some business owners. You may have been avoiding it or putting it off, but it is only becoming more important. In 2017, 97% of Canadian consumers used the internet to find a local business. The fact is, no matter what business you’re in – your customers are looking for you online.


Here are 7 digital marketing basics to help you get started:


1. Create online listings

Online listings are a free form of digital marketing. There are many places where you can put your information online for free. Sites like 411.ca, Google My Business, Yelp and Bing will let you put your business information online for no cost. Listing on these sites will get your location indexed to local maps so local people can find you. Having multiple listings showing accurate and consistent information will also boost your ranking on the search engine results page (SERP).


2. Website design

Do you have a modern, clean website? Your website gives your prospective customers’ their first impression about the quality of your service or products. Contrary to what you may think, you don’t have to pay large upfront amounts for a professional website. At 411.ca we can build, host and maintain a website  for as little as $30/month.


Digital marketing basics - website


3. Calls to Action (CTAs)

A call to action tells your visitors what you want them to do. The “Book Now” button on the website above is a call to action. Other examples include call us today, sign up now, learn more and there are many others you can use depending on what you’re trying to achieve. Your call to action should be separated from your text by a bold font or through spacing. It can also be a link that opens up a form you can use to capture your prospects’ information.


4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic (non-paid) search engine results. There are many aspects to SEO, but for starters – make sure your website uses popular searched keywords. You can find the most searched keywords relevant to your business using Google Trends. Once your website is optimized, you should install Google Analytics to track and report website traffic. Google Analytics is free and can be installed on any website.


5. Digital Ads 

Digital ads are one of the most cost-effective forms of advertising available. They allow you to target the type of customer you want based on demographics and help you achieve specific goals. Unlike the majority of digital ad campaigns that simply focus on increasing traffic to your website, our Paid Media solutions are designed to help you get new phone calls and form fills, and target your competitors. Contact one of our experts at 1-866-411-4411 to learn more about our unique Paid Media offering.


6. Website responsiveness

A responsive website is able to recognize which device is being used and adapt the layout of the site to fit the screen size. With 76% of Canadians using smartphones, it has become very important to make sure people viewing your website on smaller screens have a good user experience.

 Connect Social Media 2


7. Social media marketing

Social media sites are online communities which allow individuals to find and interact with people with similar interests. A recent study indicated 91% of Canadians who are online use at least one social media network and 63% of them follow companies, brands and products. It gives small business owners an excellent opportunity to brand themselves on a personal level and target potential customers. Posting regular and engaging social media content can drive traffic to your website, generate hot leads and boost sales.


We hope this has taken the sting out of the term “digital marketing” and has made it is less intimidating. Honestly, if you are still avoiding digital marketing you are costing yourself much more money than you’re saving. We understand business owners wear many hats and may simply not have the time.  That’s why we have been helping Canadian small business owners market their businesses online for almost 20 years.

Feel free to call us at 1-866-411-4411 for a free consultation.


Dwight has a double major in Marketing and Business. He is passionate about helping small businesses grow and enjoys writing to provoke thought and start conversations.