Online Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
Marketing your business is never an easy task. With small businesses even more so as small businesses have smaller budgets than larger companies but want to achieve the same results as their larger brethren. Smaller budgets can be effective, efficient and profitable. The key is to not count the internet out when it comes to marketing your business, even if your product isn't sold select * . There are many online marketing mistakes businesses make and we've come up with ways to do a good job at online marketing.
Always have an online presence
When starting out many businesses will either not have an internet presence or get a Facebook page and say "all done", next. It's vital that people have the opportunity to learn about your business online. Many times your website will not make any direct "sales". A website may just provide a great resource of information to your potential customers. A website can be used to gather not only email addresses for newsletters but actual addresses for your offline marketing plans as well as learning where your customers are coming from
Don't be a cookie cutter
One item we do is not use a stock template for any of our projects. The reason we don't use stock templates is that we feel that your business is unique. Chains are equally unique when it comes to a business. Although you may get a free website with your corporate chain that doesn't mean you shouldn't have a page that further highlights your unique attributes that your business has that elaborates what the corporate website provides.
Not using Data Analytics
In the media we've heard about "big data" where large companies look for trends and vital information to gain more customers. Using data analytics for your website is equally important. You can tell where your visitors are coming from, what device they are using to connect to your site, what version of the web browser so that you can further optimize your site, what paths they typically take on your site, and what the most important pages are on your site.
Social Media and Your Local Community
Using Facebook and local community groups and forums are a great online resource to staying involved in your community. This doesn't have to be a page you maintain either. This can be your local town, county or area community pages. Doing so will keep your name out there and allow you to inform others of your great services, even if your product and services are all offline.
Capture leads when not selling online
Do you have a form on your site that will save customer email addresses and other information? It is very easy for a business to think that they have an online business so sales will now just start flowing in the door. It doesn't work that way for most companies. Collecting information from a customer online, a business expo, or a business event will allow you to work on contacting and getting a hold of potential new business. This is where your sales can come.
Banner ads can work
Although you can pay for Google AdWords and advertising on other search engines a great source of generating traffic to your website, which can ultimately help lead to more sales, is by using banner ads on social media sites. You can target your customers directly based on geographic location, actual age, gender and interests. The search engines do a great job in marketing based on the keywords that are being searched but with social media sites they can be more targeted to a potential customer while they are browsing.
Develop localized content
Small businesses are typically marketing to the current and surrounding areas for business. This is a ripe opportunity to provide quality information that can benefit the people around you. Ways to help drum up interest from a local standpoint to the search engines you can have a page for each community you offer products and services in and clearly listing what those are. Many businesses will also feel they have no competition and think they should automatically be number one as there is no one else that offers what they do. That may be but to the search engines if your site hasn't yet been marked as a quality source of information the other sites outside your area may still rank better.
Stop continually moving
We've noticed that when a company picks up and moves their business online which means you continually move from web provider A to web provider B your rankings can be hurt. If you picked up and moved your business every year it would be hard for your customers to find you. With the search engines they may be able to find you but to a computer they will wonder why you constantly move. It may be you found a better deal, your current provider requires you to move, or you've upgraded your site and it requires certain features you couldn't get elsewhere. In any case you should be looking to keep your feet planted to achieve the best online results.
Blog and Updating Content
Many businesses will put their website online and expect to be ranked as the best business around because they are new and fresh. One of the factors search engines look at is the quality of your website and how often it is updated, again with quality content. Become an expert in your field. If you sell widgets be the best company that informs about your widgets, how it can benefit your customer, and provide great information that will help people with your widget.
Don't neglect offline marketing
We've been talking about online marketing which is very important in the online world. Sending postcards, letters, and newsletters can be equally important. Just as attending events and giving away your business cards to potential customers will benefit your company.
Now that we're at the end of this list you may feel overwhelmed as marketing your business is no easy task. You can do a build it and they will come approach which will work for a few. For the rest of us we need to work at it and no business should ignore marketing their business online or offline. With JM2 Webdesigners we can help you with the online marketing of your business and have solid relationships with business partners that can help you in your offline marketing.