So, what can you do to improve your online marketing if you are a small business? You need to find something that is the most effective for the minimum cost and the minimum amount of input. Something you can do regularly that you know is having a positive impact.
Here is a list of five things you can do today to improve your small business online marketing:
- Give your website a makeover– often a small business website was setup more than three years ago and without a full understanding of what can be achieved. Online digital marketing is always changing as new technologies become available, and you can slip down in the search engine rankings as a result. Google also favours websites with a good user experience. You need to make sure your website is responding to these and is always up to date. Have you included a link to your social media page for example and allowed your content to be shared easily? Have you provided sufficient calls to action such as a quick enquiry form or clear phone number? Are your website pages setup with search engine optimisation (SEO) in mind and using the best keywords? Ask your web designer to implement these simple things and you will ensure you look up to date and are well placed among your competitors.
- Get blogging!– within your website makeover you should include a facility to blog regularly. Google has made several updates to its search algorithm in recent years to stop dubious SEO practices such as keyword stuffing on websites (making unreadable text) and questionable link building (e.g. to low quality sites). This means great content has taken centre stage. If your content is good enough, they think that people will want to share it naturally, thus creating a natural link back. So, set a schedule to blog at least once a week about subjects you think your key audience will find useful, and you will most certainly see the effect on your website traffic as a result!
- Setup at least one social media profile and keep it up to date– this is almost expected these days and if you don’t have one you could seem out of touch. Customers want to connect with a brand and see more of a human face. Do a bit of research to find out the social media platform your clients prefer to use. For B2B and professional services this could be LinkedIn, for consumers it could be Facebook, for a younger audience Twitter might be better and for predominately female audiences Pinterest could be your best bet. Include your branding and optimise the profile by mentioning your key products or services. However, it doesn’t stop there! Make some time in the day for ongoing social media marketing, even if it is just 5 minutes whilst you check your emails to post an update. This will have a very positive effect on your search engine rankings and also help to engage your customers with your brand. You should also share all blog posts automatically to help extend your reach and potential audience.
- Set up Google Places and encourage customer reviews – this is especially important if you are a local business such as a restaurant or florist. People are searching more and more on their mobile these days as they are out and about. They might want a quick coffee so search for a place nearby, and then look at what other people have said about it before deciding to visit. If you are not amongst these you may be missing out on those customers! Conversely it could give you a competitive advantage. Other websites also provide the same sort of service such as Qypeand Yelp. Your customers can also leave reviews on Facebook which too, has a local search facility.
- Setup Google Analytics– so you can monitor the effectiveness of your efforts! It’s no use going to all the effort above if you cannot measure if it was successful or not. All that is needed is a few simple lines of code on each page of your website, so ask your web designer to implement this today if they haven’t already. It is very encouraging to look at once or twice a month, then you can decide to continue with the same, or make some tweaks depending on the data that is coming in. You might also notice trends such as more people are visiting your site from a mobile device, which would show you that you need to improve your website’s mobile experience.
We hope that has helped you identify at least one or two things you can try today! Let us know how you get on.