Have you recently started your own small business and want to open it to the online world?
One of the first things to do once you’ve started a business is to create a website. Websites provide an information hub for your customers, with easy access to your business information, products and services on offer. It also opens your business to millions upon millions of potential customers, both locally and internationally.
Once you’ve set up your website and have it hosted online, it’s time to plan a strategy to incorporate all aspects of your online marketing efforts. Try to answer a few key questions in detail such as:
- Who are you trying to reach?
- How are you going to engage with your target market?
- How will you convert them to customers?
There’s no doubt you’ll be stretched for time as a new business owner. Starting your own business will not only involve marketing. You’ll also likely responsible for human resources, accounts, customer service and a myriad of other duties.
Luckily, however, there are many digital outsourcers that can manage your online efforts on your business’ behalf. If you’re struggling to keep up with the substantial workload required for the starting of a new business, consider outsourcing. If you do outsource some of your online marketing tasks, treat them as an extension of your team and don’t forget to hold them accountable.
After your website is up and running and you’ve created an online marketing strategy, it’s time to put your plan into action.
Set Up Google Analytics
If you’re not analysing the results of your online marketing efforts, you’re practically throwing your time and money down the drain. That’s why it’s vital to set up Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager on your website. This will give you a clear indication of how your business is performing online so you can make the necessary changes and pounce on potential opportunities.
Although, as a business owner, you’ll often be bogged down with other tasks and stretched for time it’s always recommended you spend time analysing the performance of your website and online marketing efforts. However due to time restraints, at the very least you should understand Google Analytics and look for the overall trends of your website’s data.
Improve Your Website’s SEO
Not only does it include website optimisation to allow search engines such as Google better index your site, it’s also heavily content orientated.
To rank higher in popular search engines, it’s crucial that your business continually creates good quality content. As the internet is full of poor and overly promotional content, it’s important to put a strong emphasis on “quality over quantity”. You want to reach your customers with good quality content and provide solutions to the problems they are facing, with subtle hints as to how your products or services can provide these solutions.
To start, create a ‘news’ or ‘blog’ section on your website so you can provide your customers with consistent relevant content. Then follow some of the top tips mentioned below.
Top tips for creating SEO friendly content:
- Quality over quantity – ALWAYS
- Create content that provides answers and solutions to your customer’s problems
- Optimise all pages on your website with good quality content. Aim for 300 words as a minimum per page
- NEVER duplicate content on multiple pages on your site. Every page should have completely original content
- Onsite articles should be consistently published. If time allows, aim for a minimum of one blog post a month
- Creating off-site content is also vital to increase your websites search engine rankings
- Share your content through your business’s social media channels
It does take some time to truly understand the best practices for search engine optimisation. As Google’s algorithms are constantly changing, it’s also important to always keep up to date with the latest SEO news and information. If you’re ever unsure, get in touch with a local online marketing agency who can guide you through what’s involved in SEO.
Use Paid Search – AdWords
Depending on your industry and the demand for relevant keywords, AdWords paid search can be expensive. However, don’t let this deter you as it can also be very effective and beneficial to your company, providing quick leads to customers.
To work out whether paid search is a valuable option for your business, set-up a Google AdWords campaign and start with a small to moderate budget. As you analyse the results, you’ll start to understand whether paid search is providing the results you’re hoping for.
Don’t focus solely on AdWords for your online marketing efforts. Instead, try to create a harmonious plan that involves a combination of both SEO and PPC (pay-per-click) for best results. SEO will create a continuous stream of site visitors while PPC will generate quick leads, especially useful to make the most of seasonal products.
Set Up a Google My Business Listing
Google My Business (GMB) is a completely free marketing tool offered by Google so you can provide quick and up-to-date information about your business to your customers. It’s important to set up Google My Business with accurate information and recent photos and helps improve your local SEO ranking.
Once your GMB listing is complete, keep up to date with weekly posts to update customers on what’s going on in your business. This is a great way to increase the engagement between your business and customers. Don’t forget to update your GMB listing with public holiday hours and make changes as soon as your business information changes.
Engage Customers Through Social Media
Social media is one of the best online marketing tools for engaging with your current and potential customers while meeting likeminded people from your industry. Have a look at the most common social media networks and consider which would provide the biggest benefit to your business. Although you might consider creating a business account on each channel, consider instead picking 1-3 social media channels for your business.
Some of the most common social media channels for small businesses include:
By selecting 1 to 3 channels rather than all, you’ll have more time to focus on providing good quality and engaging content. Running several social media accounts can be cripplingly time consuming and is usually not a viable option for small business owners. Keep up to date with the latest social media marketing trends, such as using video, to have the best chances of success.
While there is a range of tools available to help your online marketing efforts, strategic planning is key to create a harmonised approach across all tools and marketing channels. This will provide you with the best chance of business success online.
*** This Guest Post was from Alex Hamilton ***
This article is written by Alex Hamilton, who works for White Chalk Road – Online marketing specialist based in Perth, Western Australia.
Alex Hamilton is a Blogger and Content Creator based in Perth, Western Australia.