Ah, the internet: a resourceful, convenient, and now, powerful mechanism in today’s society. Where newspapers, direct mail, billboards, and commercials were once prominent avenues for marketing and advertising, the internet has replaced and taken lead. Small businesses now have the ability to broaden their clientele, increase recognition, and monitor their marketing performance, all online. If you haven’t caught on by now, your website is the online representation of your business (so take full advantage). You’re probably thinking, “Where do I start?” We’re glad you asked. Below, we’ve developed a list of the 5 most beneficial ways to market your business online. Ready? Let’s get started:
1. Have a professional, well-developed website
Let’s face it: we naturally judge a book by its cover. Just like a person would question the service of a run-down, messy restaurant, they’ll do the same with a badly designed, disorganized website. Many small business owners choose to put together a simple, DIY website on their own in order to save time and money. If web designing, or computers in general, are not your strong suit, it’s highly recommended that you hire a professional to do it for you. Visitors, who are also potential clients, want to feel like they’re investing their time and money into a good business which, online, is most often determined by its appearance.
2. Have thorough contact information
Think of a website you’ve visited before, when seeking employment or searching for answers about their merchandise you’ve purchased, and it was difficult for you to find their contact information. After clicking through two or three pages on their site, you only found an email to reach them by, and even after submitting an email, you were unsure if it sent successfully. Pretty frustrating, right? Situations like this can make potential customers doubt the company’s customer service or professionalism.
It is important to have visible, thorough contact information displayed throughout your website. An effective method is to display at least the phone number and email in the footer of your web pages, making it easy for visitors to find. Then, have a ‘Contact Us’ page, where every method of communicating with your company is listed: phone, email, mailing address, etc. Consider including a map of your location on this page (helps with Google search) and a contact form, which permits people without access to their email or desktop to send a message.
3. Utilize Social Media
Millions of people use some form of social media and spend a significant amount of time on it per day. If you don’t have a social media platform for your small business, now is a great time to make one. Facebook is still the most used and active form of social media in the world. Making a Facebook business page, where a description of your business, services, contact info, and even customer testimonials can be displayed to millions of Facebook users, would be wise. Consider other forms of social media, such as Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest. These are great for creative and visual businesses, i.e. photography, architecture, and homemade goods, that can utilize photos and videos to appeal to their target audience. Be mindful, your business doesn’t need to have every form of social media. It’s important to know your target audience and invest in the platforms that they most likely use.
4. Have clear, obvious “calls-to-action”
What is the reason for the visit to your business’s website? Why should the potential customer spend more time there? After finding your website and learning your services, people need to know what to do next (and hurry, because their patience and attention span is limited). If the goal is for them to call now, schedule an appointment, etc., let them know and direct them on where to go!
5. Create a blog
Blogging is on the rise—many people have found a hobby in either reading or writing one. Blogs inform people that you’re an expert in your field of work (meaning you know what you’re talking about). It gives visitors a sense of your company’s voice and personality, and also the opportunity for you to educate and engage with your target audience. You can do weekly posts on topics that revolve around the services your business offers, or answers to questions that the average customer might have. Blogging is also beneficial for SEO, where search engines like Google identify new blog posts as fresh updates to a website and, therefore, rank them as more reliable.
Convinced to give your small business website the ‘boost’ of improvement it needs? We’re glad you enjoyed our tips. For those of you looking for a little help in creating or marketing your website, we specialize in that too! Check out the designs of our previous clients’ websites here, and click here to learn more about our social media marketing services.