Want to do two things at once. Listen to this article as a podcast. Here are my tips for a small business.
1. GET A WEBSITE
Your Business is Open to Your Marketplace 24/7, and can be changed at anytime and it presents a professional image. Don’t you search on the web first when you are interested in a product or service?
You can do this by going to a web designer or use one of the content management tools that I use like citymax. Just google web content management systems and you fill find lots of options. Alternative to this is to use a blogsite like wordpress, blogger or typepad and direct it over to your website address. Register your domain. Find if you can get your company name. You can check out who is or godaddy to check if it is available.
2. MAKE SURE YOU CAN BE FOUND It should be optimised for keyword searches. You want people to find your site, so make sure it shows up in Google searches. Easy way to do this is to create pages. Home page needs to be attention grabbing and should solve the prospect’s problem. It’s not about you. It’s about them. However to optimise the home page make sure you have 400-500 words with key phases and words in the title, intro and end section of your website page. Do this on every page. You can use a wordtracker or keyworddiscovery tools in my list of resources on this blog. Ask for links with associations you work or are involved with. You get points from google and increase your visibility. Then add your website url on everything from your email, signage, advertisements, invitations, everything in your offline presence.
3. Create a relationship with your customers.
Most people don’t buy when they visit your website. They need to be convinced that what you provide will solve their problems. Create a unique reason to come back to your website. It might be to download a resource like a checklist on my site or a newsletter or a calculator. We then ask for a small piece of information, their email address and name. You can use several powerful strategies to build a list of customers and keep communicating with them automatically. How many times have you made an enquiry, or done some research online Gone to a blog or tweeted? You need to provide value. Information. Useful stuff they can use right away. Remember connect with your customers, create great content and engage and be of value. To do this regular communication with your customers once you have their names is a email follow on or auto-responder campaign and example is aweber software. The average customer will not respond until they have seen the message for at least 7 times. If you are going to do a email follow-on make sure it is still adding value, they have opted in.
4. Promote Your Area of Expertise
Create a article about your area of expertise on your website and then send it out on a PRwire service to get it picked up by press on line. This will give you more links back to your site (but only if you put the article on your site first). Your website is the perfect place to feature stories and testimonials but be creative, maybe record a testimonial and stream it live or get some footage. Create a project sheet for download. All add to promoting you in your area as an expert. Add a question forum or discussion board to your web (much easier if it is set up as a blog) or link your blog to your home page of your web) and start a discussion about things your customers want to know. You should create a blog separate to your website and link them together( if they are not one and the same). This is where you can link to other interesting relevant sources. You then can build some credibility as a expert. Why not start a podcast which is another way to do the same thing. This also should live on your web and blog.
5. Understand your customers. Online surveys are a fantastic to find out what your customers want. Use one of the survey free tools listed on my blog . By finding out what your clients want first, you can tailor your service or event to suit them. When you do launch, you’ll have a far better chance of success. You can also do a adwords campaign with google to create a lead generation program. This is easy to do and you can use the keyword tools above to help you as well as googles tools. You want to ensure that you use google analytics tools as this will help when you come to measure your website .
6. Purpose of your website
Is you website just a digital brochure? Well it could be so much more. Your site should be a lead generator at the very least and ideally it should be a way to close sales either online or after an enquiry. The value of your business is in your list. You need to measure conversion on your website. If you had a newsletter for download, measure that. Put the code form google into your website page and measure the downloads with google analytics. Try this app for google at youcal How many people are downloading, bouncing, how long are they staying and what are they looking at.
7. Listen, watch and inspire If you are going to invest in a website or blog then you have to invest the time to track it and improve it. It might be a good idea to get a number of people to contribute content and have one owner. Expect to spend 2 hours per week updating your web or blog if you want it to have some traction. Look at the google analytics what your competitors, invent, create and inspire. There has never been a better time to get an on line presence. People are searching on line more and more before they buy a product or service. They are having conversations with their friends on line. They are making a short-list and then looking for some interaction before they make a decision. Give them a reason to have a conversation with you or you might be over-looked in this growing marketplace.