It doesn’t matter what kind of business you are involved in; you need to concentrate on your online presence. This is where your potential customers are, and they are far more likely to hear a word about you online, than through those traditional marketing techniques, such as print marketing. You need to focus on your website; get to grips with social media, and outreach through a range of online resources to improve your visibility. In this article, we will give you a list of tips that should help you do just that.
User experience is everything
Focus on web design, ensuring your website both looks and feels good to use. Your site is the face of your business, and will often be the first port of call your customer makes to find out what you have to offer them. If you don’t have a website, or you have just thrown something together in a rush to get yourself online, you need to rectify the matter immediately. Strong web design will both improve your SEO (more in a moment) and increase the amount of time your site visitors stick around on your website.
SEO is not overrated
This is your way to get your website onto the first page of Google, and not somewhere down the rankings where internet users are unlikely to venture. If you don’t know the first thing about SEO, or need a little help understanding some of the jargon involved, we recommend you read this great SEO guide to give you a better grasp of this essential technique in improving your visibility online.
Leverage related social media platforms and tools
Spread the word through social media, utilising the best of what Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. have to offer your business. This is a way to communicate with your customers, sharing updates about your business, including any promotions and discounts you are offering. This is where you can link social media users back to your website. And this is where you can reach many more customers, through shared networking, than you would otherwise be able to manage. The great advantage of social media is that it’s free to use as well, although you can pay for such things as Facebook Ads to further increase word about your business.
Update social media content often, sending out regular tweets and Facebook statuses to keep customers informed about your business. This will both help you with your SEO (more links to your website the better), and keep your business fresh in customer’s minds. Again, don’t spam your social media with content – you will reduce the effectiveness – but rather time messages, so as many people as possible have the time to read them before you send out something new to read. We recommend the use of a social media app such as HootSuite, to help you manage this vital aspect of your business.
Install social media sharing buttons on your website, as this is a great way for your site visitors and customers to share your content with their social networks. Your website-builder probably has this function anyway, but if not, there is an excellent guide here to help you create social media buttons for all the top networks. However, don’t overload your website with the buttons available to you – considering the large number of social media sites, your page will be cluttered – so, only use those that you think are used by your target demographic. At the very least, we recommend Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Don’t forget email marketing
Email your customers news of updates regarding your business. Again, this may be information about promotions, etc. as well as anything else that you think will be of specific interest to your customers. Use carefully-constructed email templates to give your newsletters added impact when they land in your customer’s inbox. A word of warning, however. While emails are a great way to remind your customers that your business still exists, you don’t want to spam them. Time your emails, ensuring they are both relevant and timely; otherwise, your customers may relegate your messages to their trash and spam boxes.
Educate your customers via a business blog
Start a blog on your site, giving your customers an extra reason to stick around on your site. This is your way to show your creative side, and you can use backlinks through the articles you produce to navigate site visitors to specific places of interest. As an example, if you sell cleaning products, you could write an article on how to ‘make your kitchen sparkle’ with links to the products you sell to help them give their kitchen the shine you are promising.
You need to keep your blog updated regularly, as this will give your readers further incentive to visit your site, and you might also want to send out links or snippets on your social media accounts. If you don’t have a flair for writing, or you don’t have the time, then use sites such as Upwork to find a copywriter to manage this part of your website for you.
Outreach to other bloggers, and ask them to use backlinks to your site. The blogs you approach need to have some relevance to your site, of course, so it’s wise to do your research to make sure the right people click on your links. While some bloggers will include links for free, there may be some who require payment, so this is further reason to look for quality blogs to share your link. Link building agencies are a great source of help at your disposal to help you manage this part of your marketing.
Video marketing can make a huge difference
Consider the use of video to share the word of your business. Not only can these be uploaded onto your website, but you can share the videos you create on popular video-hosting platforms, such as YouTube and Vimeo. Provided you are confident and willing to broadcast yourself, you can showcase your business with ‘how-to guides’ and product tips as a means to make your video relevant.
Share your videos on social media as well, and ask your network to share them with anybody they think will find them useful. Now, while your videos should be halfway entertaining to watch, remember this isn’t your five minutes of fame. Don’t crack too many jokes or pull any stunts to draw your viewers in. Be professional, and remember the overall aim is to better your business, and not to distance your viewers from it.
Opmitise your site for mobile devices
Ensure your website is optimized for mobile devices, as today’s internet users are not all sat at home browsing the web on their laptop or desktops. You need to think of the many people using their smartphones, as well as the range of tablets available. If you neglect this, you will lose a massive portion of potential customers, as a poorly-optimized site will turn-off the very people you are trying to reach. Check out the website optimization tips here, to ensure your site is seen by as many people as possible.
Find other ways to share your story online
Interact with the internet, putting your face and your business across the web, in places that are not simply your social media sites or website. This includes contributing to other blogs, being a guest writer or commenter on those sites that are relevant to your business. You should encourage your customers to write reviews about your business, on sites such as Yelp. And you might consider writing an e-book, perhaps in the form of a tutorial or industry guide, by using services such as Amazon to promote your work. The world wide web is huge – a virtual universe – so find as many ways as possible to interact with this phenomenon to spread the word about your business to the world.
Your business won’t succeed if you focus your marketing efforts offline only, or if you only stay within the confines of your website. Use our tips to improve your online presence, and you should see a better return, in customer engagement and profits, for your efforts.