This is a guest post for Skills You Need.
Want to contribute? Find out how.

An Essential Guide to Promoting Your Business Online
WITHOUT Paid Advertising

Advertising or marketing is an essential part of creating a successful business in the modern day. However, since founding an e-commerce vape shop in 2013, my business has expanded rapidly without the use of paid advertising. A number of companies still aren’t aware of the value they can add to their marketing campaigns with just some simple knowledge.

Don’t be fooled by the trends in pay per click advertising. While they might boost your position on Google overnight, there are other, more organic ways to improve the online visibility of your business.

Harnessing the power of content marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO) can allow your company to improve both its visibility and traffic. All that’s left is for you to make the sales!

Understanding Your Customers

Arguably the most important part of any marketing campaign is understanding your customers (and potential customers). It’s likely something your business will be doing already, but it’s important to remember that this is a constantly evolving process.

Regular assessments of your marketing strategies and whether or not they remain relevant or effective can be the difference between success and failure. With the UK’s high street evolving, the website of a business can now create much more value than face-to-face transactions. However, this means you need to be offering the right products and services to the right people.

While your aim will be to increase the online traffic and visibility of your company, you also need to be aware of the balance between quality and quantity. There’s almost no reason to promote your business to people with no interest in what you have to offer.

Because we are going to be publishing content all across the internet, we cannot afford to misguide or misinform anyone. This is why quality must take precedence over quantity: potential customers need to view your business as a trustworthy and informative specialist in its chosen ‘field’. Every piece of customer-facing content needs to be to an exacting standard; it is, after all, representing your brand.

Once an understanding of what we are promoting and who we are promoting it too has been achieved, it’s time to put our research into practice.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the foundation on which our marketing strategy lies. SEO allows us to correctly target the keywords that we need to improve our search engine rankings. These keywords are essentially the words or phrases that potential customers are going to search for when using Google and other search engines.

Often related to products, services, geographical locations or industry jargon, the keywords you generate for your marketing campaign should give it value. They allow your content marketing to be as effective as possible, strengthening the correlation between your website and your Google ranking.

Think of your marketing campaign as a grid of wires, carrying energy back to a huge battery. The battery is your website and the energy is your keywords. The more keywords being relayed back to your website, the more value (or Domain Authority) your site holds.

You now need to expand your grid, widening your outreach across the internet and drawing more value to your company’s web pages. This is where content marketing comes in.

Combine SEO With Content Marketing

You can increase your website’s traffic and visibility through SEO alone.

However, combining what SEO can teach us about web pages and keywords with a content marketing outreach campaign is one of the most effective ways to promote your business online.

Because of the way in which today’s customers act, modern marketing has had to evolve to keep up with the ways in which we can interact with them. Content marketing offers business owners an opportunity to align their branding more closely to their customer. It gives potential buyers a chance to build a relationship with your company that can outgrow the traditional supply and demand business models.

Content marketing aims to spread your influence across the internet. If we continue with our wire grid imagery, content marketing works to secure backlinks, or hubs, with which our wires can interconnect. The wires then carry the keyword value from the new backlink to your website, so without backlinks your marketing campaign could end up being quite limited in its potency.

A final component is required for our marketing campaign to be successful: an excellent website. Each one of your web pages can be made more effective through on-page optimisation, giving us a chance to communicate not just with your customers, but also with Google.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Business Strategy and Analysis

The Skills You Need Guide to Business Strategy and Analysis

Based on our popular management and analysis content the Skills You Need Guide to Business Strategy and Analysis is a straightforward and practical guide to business analysis.

This eBook is designed to give you the skills to help you understand your business, your market and your competitors.

It will help you understand why business analysis is important for strategy—and then enable you to use analytical tools effectively to position your business.

The Importance of Your On-Page SEO

A huge part of the progression of my e-cigarette business is excellent on-page SEO. When I first started learning about SEO strategies this was one which spoke to me the most. While we were creating the Electric Tobacconist website, I took great care in making sure all our pages delivered when it came to being optimised. Because of this, we were able to rank highly for certain keyword terms without using any content marketing at all.

Four years down the line and I’m as obsessive as ever.

The last thing you want is to put so much hard work into an excellent marketing campaign, only for Google to look at a product’s web page and see you’ve spelt the brand name wrong. No matter how strong your grid of wires, or the amount of value your keywords are pumping into your site, simple mistakes can leave Google tutting and shaking its head.

While this is a simplified version of what makes up a non-paid advertising campaign, I’ve been using these tactics over the last four years to great effect. They’ve helped me (and countless other businesses) create a successful business and nurtured a confidence in digital marketing that has allowed Electric Tobacconist to set up a vape shop in the United States, as well as here in the UK.

About the Author

Pascal Culverhouse is a successful business owner and self-taught SEO specialist. Through his relentless drive, marketing strategies and staff motivation techniques, he has managed to reach the top of his industry.