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Search engine optimization is an important tool for businesses wanting to be found online. SEO can give you tremendous results when it comes to search, but it is, however, an expensive, long-term process. There is a huge amount of technical detail involved, and even when you pay professionals to do it on your behalf, the reality is that results will not be instant. And while overall, SEO can be cost-efficient, it doesn’t make it cheap – far from it, in fact.

The big question is – what can small business owners do to get online exposure while they are waiting for their SEO campaigns to kick in, or until they can even afford to pay for one? The good news is that there are plenty of other options. Let’s take a look at some alternatives to SEO when it comes to improving your visibility as a business.

Social media marketing

Social media is becoming a significant presence when it comes to online advertising. And whether you are looking to make the most out of your Facebook page, Twitter account or Instagram images, a social media marketing specialist can help. Let’s take Facebook ads for an example. These are available at a surprisingly low cost and come equipped with incredibly powerful targeting options. Best of all, you will see the results of your ads come in straight away, meaning you can tweak and improve things until you start getting the visibility you need.

Social media sociability

Don’t forget that social media is about being, well … social. And regardless of what page you are ranking on in Google, if you can start networking with Twitter or Facebook influencers online, it can drive a lot of traffic to your site. Be friendly and interesting, and offer praise and discussion with the right people, and you could have an incredibly influential person advocating your business.

Email

Email marketing is still a critical – and incredibly cost-efficient – method to spread your marketing message. And it’s often overlooked by many modern marketers who believe that email has run its course. Don’t believe them. Building a solid email list gives you the opportunity to get in front of your ideal customers whenever you like. As long as you offer relevant and worthwhile content and offers – and links to your website – you will see a significant spike in traffic, and, potentially, sales.

Online Ads

The world of online ads – such as banners, for example – has taken a little bit of kicking in the past year or so. But let’s be clear, if you’re struggling to get traffic from the search engines, it’s a viable way of attracting attention. Google Adwords is probably your best starting point, and once you feel confident enough with the basics of online advertising, you can start looking into other ad networks such as BuySellAds or Media.net.

As you can see, while SEO is vital to your business’s ability to be found online, there are plenty of other areas of marketing that can give you something else. Feel free to leave some of your other ideas in the comments section below!