Affiliate Summit East 2017 may have ended yesterday, August 1, but the marketing tips for SMBs will be useful for a long time. Digital marketers arrived in Times Square to share best practices, many of which are especially applicable to small businesses creating and refining their online presences on a budget.

Content answers questions

People use the Internet for two reasons: to be entertained or to solve a problem. Content for an SMB website needs to be clear, concise and answer those questions. Speakers suggested keeping your website simple, design-wise and copy-wise, with a clear call to action.

Additionally, make sure you keep your website updated. Stale content not only repels customers but repels search engines.

Stay on top of SEO

If one message couldn’t be hammered home enough, it was SEO. Speakers dedicated multiple sessions to SEO practices at Affiliate Summit East. Other sessions wove in critical SEO tips, including the following.

Play nice with Google

Google likes to release a veritable zoo menagerie of updates every so often. Panda required good quality content; Penguin upped the game with credible back links. Speakers advised following blogs that cover Google’s algorithm updates. They also strongly cautioned against black hat SEO tactics, which are things like keyword stuffing and buying back links.

Pay attention to technical details

SEO encompasses more than just on-page tactics. One session at Affiliate Summit East focused on technical details, pinpointing errors that could harm a site’s search ranking. For example, page load speed is critical. Using 3G as a standard is a good idea, particularly since so many people access websites from mobile devices.

Additionally, WordPress absolutely needs regular updates. The excuse that the site will break won’t fly; experts advised using a framework with a child theme to prevent this from happening.

Finally, any plug-ins that you don’t use need to be deleted. They slow down page load time and can introduce security problems with your website.

Measure, then calculate

It’s no secret that marketers need metrics. A lot of SMBs, particularly small businesses, shy away from simple numbers. However, it’s important to use Google Analytics and track what’s important. In particular, marketers need to track leads from campaigns, then calculate the cost per lead. For example, if you spent $2,000 on a Google AdWords campaign and got 200 qualified leads, your cost per lead would be $10.