Increasing sales is the goal for most business owners, and in today’s world promoting a small business online is the most cost-effective way to get up and running with little overhead or up-front cost. Here are a few tips to get you started with a solid foundation and be on your way to increased profits!
Know Your Audience and How to Reach Them
This is likely the single most important aspect of having a profitable business. If you don’t know your market and are not reaching them effectively, you will lose money. Digital marketing companies are trained to do this type of research and will figure out the most cost-effective approach to find your people and turn them into customers.
Website Optimization – SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a vital aspect of being discovered on search engines for free. The ranking you achieve on Google and other search engines is a foundation to your bottom line, and without it, you’re losing sales to your competitors who have already built this. While the strategy is meant to see the best results over the long haul, there are some aspects which will allow you to see results much quicker.
Don’t forget to update the look of your website with your branding and current website design trends. The last thing you want is for someone to visit your site for the first time, think it’s ugly, outdated, and not have a clue how to use it. This also applies to mobile users. Make sure the site is very simple and easy to follow from a phone.
Touted as the most effective marketing strategy today, businesses are seeing a good portion of their sales come directly from their email list. Do you want to have a weekly newsletter or monthly prize giveaway? Set a small signup form to pop up after someone spends a minute or two on your website.
As you collect a list of relevant email addresses, you can send out coupon deals, new product/service offerings that you think would be of interest, and relevant content that your readers would find value in.
Take advantage of automatic emails when someone initially signs up for your list. This way they will receive a confirmation and your free offering immediately.
Digital Paid Ads
The best form of paid marketing today (for most companies) is digital. Depending on your target market, different strategies will benefit your business more effectively.
- Google AdWords: From text ads that appear at the top of search results when searching for particular terms, to display ads that show off banners and any photos (or videos) you, or your marketing agency, a design that will push your campaign goal over the finish line.
- Facebook + Instagram: If you have a very visual product or service, these two platforms combined can produce great results, especially if you have a great video to advertise with.
Make sure to pay attention to the way your ads’ landing pages look compared to your ads. They must feel like an extension of one another to ensure there is no confusion from clicking on the ad to landing on the purchase/conversion page. Make it as simple and straightforward as humanly possible (without being insulting).
Social Media Community Building
Building an online community is one of the best brand-building things you can do today. With brand loyalty being so difficult to achieve, this strategy if done right will make your customers love you and keep coming back. After you build a sizeable audience of people who care about your business, you can share special promotions (sparingly) for free.
Facebook has cut down on the number of people it will share a business page’s posts to its followers, so create a reason for your audience to come check your page frequently. Provide valuable or entertaining content that your competitors aren’t providing.
Content and More Content
Written content is the first way Google and other search engines can determine what your business is about, and how relevant your website is for its searchers. This includes the many technical SEO elements like title tags, meta descriptions, alt text for photos, etc. It’s also important to keep everything updated that is able to be updated. Update the blogs at least once per year if it’s needed to keep the content correct. Keyword research is becoming less important, but it still should be done to ensure you’re writing about what your audience is looking for.
Content doesn’t refer to just words. Photos are very important, especially since we are visual creatures. Search engines are becoming better at identifying the contents of images, but it is still best to include alt text to ensure the most accurate results.
Video is currently the best form of content out there, being the most visual and thus the most preferred method of consuming information today. Can you turn your blogs into videos or vice versa?
Internal Links and Backlinks
Internal linking involves linking to pages on your site, from other pages on your site, when relevant. This will ideally provide a congruent and logical roadmap through the site.
Backlinks are links from other websites that link to any page on your site, and this does include social media. The more, and more frequently other websites link to your content, the more trust search engines build in your business, and the higher you will rank.
Google My Business
This applies to local businesses mainly, from brick and mortar to services that are limited to a geographical area. This includes all the pertinent information for people to find and contact your business, as well as one of the best places for customers to leave reviews (the other suggested is Facebook, and in some cases Yelp). You can now chat with customers, answer questions, and post promotions.
Sign up for free and after you install a bit of code to your website, you’ll be able to see what is happening – amount of traffic, how long people are spending on different pages, demographics, and much more. Perhaps the best part is seeing what keywords people have searched on Google to find you. Then you can use this information to improve your AdWords campaigns and site content to better reflect what potential customers are looking for.