10-15 years ago, people were often saying, “Wow, it’s incredible what you can do on the internet!”
Netflix streaming was coming up, you could follow sports via the internet, and social media was slowly evolving to the giant that it is today.
Now, you’re more likely to be amazed by what you can’t do online. What’s even more amazing is that all of this knowledge and ability can fit right in your front pocket.
Even though we may accept the power and scope of the internet, there are plenty of people and business owners who are not taking advantage of what the internet can do. You may be shocked to learn that around 50% of small businesses don’t even have a website.
The reasons for this are unclear, but one can hypothesize. Business owners may be using traditional forms of marketing, the internet can be intimidating, or simply the new technology is too confusing to try.
For those starting their new business, it’s time to embrace the web and see how it can grow your business, especially in the age of easy to use WYSIWYG website builders.
Register Your Business With Google
You know what’s great? Something that’s easy to do. Do you know what’s better than that? Something that’s free. What’s better than both of those? Something that’s easy and free.
Registering your business with a Google My Business account is a great start for marketing your business. If you’re not sure why it’s useful, have a look right here.
Having a GMB account will let you register your business so you can put the hours, menu, website, prices, location, etc. easily. It will also boost your local search rankings, meaning people in your area can find you easier.
It’s worth noting quickly that just because you have an account and listing like the ones above doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a website. Having this account does not promote your website, but is more like a nice little add-on or compliment piece.
Build a Proper Website
Website building can be intimidating. Real quick, push CTRL+U on your PC to see the lines of code necessary for a website. Are you going to have to do all that?
The easy answer: no. Choosing an available domain name is the first and biggest step for you. Go easy and make sure it’s the name of your business or something that represents your business. Having a website makes you easy to find for potential consumers so you’re not lost.
Optimize Your Website
Since we’re talking about websites, it’s time to make sure yours is optimized. What does that mean?
Besides straying away from 80s style graphics (unless that’s what you’re selling) it means having a fast loading website, writing an SEO title, and having a meta description.
The SEO title and meta description are going to show up in search results, so making sure it’s as relevant and interesting as possible is a great way to draw in organic traffic. Once you have your site optimized, you will want to increase the reach of your new content by performing link outreach. According to link building firm Stellar SEO, relevancy is one of the most important factors when acquiring links. Over the years, a shift from domain authority to relevancy focused link building has been necessary to garner the best results.
Control the Brand
On the lines of making your website, you’re going to want to brand it effectively online. If you’re not sure how to do this, take a look at what your competitors are doing. See which words they use, how they use them, what they’re telling customers and more.
Go further and use another free tool from Google, the Google Keyword Planner. This will help you decide what keywords and phrases you should be using for your website. This should also be an area that you check up on from time to time, as keywords can change every so slightly with each passing month. Make sure you’re always on the cutting edge of your brand and market.
Try Out Link-Building
One way to drive up the organic traffic to your website is link-building. Now, link-building is probably the most difficult item on this list, but there are plenty of companies and specialists that work solely on link-building.
There’s a lot of complicated steps that go into it, but link-building is one way that search engines find new web pages and determine how well a page is ranked. The stronger links there are on the web, the higher that link is going to be ranked on search engines. This, in turn, means more traffic coming your way and more potential consumers on your website.
Promote Your Store
If you’re in the business of selling items or goods, you’re going to want to make sure you have an e-commerce store. More and more people are purchasing goods online and by around 2024, one in every five purchases will be online.
One way to promote your store is by making it visible and easy for visitors. Promote certain products, discounts, specials or shipping deals in order to encourage growth. Having an online store will only help your business grow and succeed for the foreseeable future.
Make it one of your headers when people search for your business online while also making it the star of your ad campaigns.
Keep Your Website Updated
This might not be your go-to move for your new business, but it’s important to keep you website looking fresh and clean instead of resembling something from years past.
Websites aren’t quite like fashion where the new season is going to bring about new styles and changes, but you’ll want to make sure you’re giving it a fresh look every few years.
While you may be able to find one or two people who don’t have or have never had a social media account, finding ten might be near impossible. Everyone is on social media these days with millions scrolling through their Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or other feeds every second.
All businesses should be capitalizing on social media. Making a social media page is free and requires little time to set up. Here, you can interact with consumers, promote deals, link to your website and so much more.
Social media is also your best chance to get creative with promotions. Reach out to influencers, run contests, and have giveaways. People always love winning something!
Reviews and Testimonials
Think about the last time you looked for anything online, whether it be new running shoes or an Italian restaurant. After looking at the basic information, you probably checked out its ratings. The closer to five stars, the better! Encourage your customers to leave reviews on your products or through Google. You may never have the perfect 5-star rating, but anything helps.
While you it might be hard to turn town testimonials from anyone, choose people that fit your target audience. That will send a sign to others who pass through your website that this is the right product or service for them.
If you can, reach out to some customers about doing testimonials. These can either be in text or video form and require little effort. Just a small explanation about why they reached out to your business and how they were helped. Word of mouth marketing is still the most powerful tool out there!
Integrate Push Notifications
What are push notifications? Push notifications are those little pop-ups that appear when traveling to a new website. They’re not the pop-ups of old, telling you that you won $5 million because you’re the 100th visitor, but instead can be helpful and useful.
They’ll welcome new customers to the website, ask if they need help finding anything, tell visitors of ongoing sales or promotions, or serve as a customer service helpline before transferring someone to an actual human being.
You can use these to engage with new customers and keep past customers happy by personalizing how they are greeted when coming to the website.
One area of marketing that has exploded is video marketing. You don’t have to become Quentin Tarantino or the Nolan Brothers, but publishing a short video about your business, trends in your business, or other projects is an easy way to branch out.
You can plug and play it anywhere: your website, a newsletter, social media, and more platforms. It’s also quite easy to share and generate views.
While you may be competing with plenty of other websites and businesses out there, there are some that you will find can be beneficial to you just like peanut butter and jelly. If you’re selling equipment for water sports, you could link up with a few businesses that offer kayak rentals on the water.
Look for other businesses where you could both benefit from each other’s success. You could do simple things like advertising for them, mentioning them in your content pieces, or even offering a discount if the customer has already used their service.
Regularly Publish Content
While social media may reign the land, content is the true king of marketing. You might think of content as simply publishing a blog every now and then, but that’s not even a necessary step.
You can create videos, graphs, link news articles, post memes related to your business, run a newsletter, promote your store and so much more. The key here is to be putting out content on a regular basis, making sure you have something new for consumers to see.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to turn into an Instagram model or a Reddit super-poster overnight, but making sure you’re pushing out regular content is a great way to promote your business.
Branch Out With Other Websites
Besides social media, you could be connecting to customers and building your business by posting and publishing on other websites.
Two big websites to look at don’t have a lot to do with each other, but they both offer big growth potential. For those that have a certain niche interest, Pinterest is a great way to build up a following and connect with others. You never know when your design or craft may be shared across multiple Pinterest boards. If your business is targeting women, then you’ll definitely want to hop on the Pinterest ship.
Moving back to business, LinkedIn is another fantastic website with prime networking and outreach possibilities. It’s a great place to engage, connect to other businesses, and grow your network.
You don’t just have to be putting your business’ domain name on other websites, you can also use your own website to promote new products and services.
Link to other pages through you content or even services and products. Internal links also help you site’s SEO by helping give search engines a clear map and overview of your website. You’ll want to make sure that you’re not going too crazy with internal links and only link to pages you want customers to see.
Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing is a great, easy way to market your business and spread the word about various promotions. In fact, email marketing is a strategy that is on the rise.
Photo Credit: https://www.oberlo.com/blog/email-marketing-statistics
You don’t just have to rely on your email marketing to promote products or services, but you can use it to build relations, send out a newsletter, or connect with new customers.
Email marketing is quite cost-effective as well and something that can be done, literally, with the click of a button. It’s a way to reach thousands without breaking your bank.
Look For Your Groove
All of these tips will definitely help your business, but it’s not going to happen overnight. It may not even happen in the first month. Digital marketing is a strange beast and it takes awhile to feel comfortable, especially if this is a new outlet for you.
That being said, look to see what works best for your business. See what’s getting the most response from consumers and keep promoting it that way. If people are responding to your video content more and more, promote your video content.
If you find more people are purchasing certain products for free shipping, see if you can change your online store model.
Keep your ear to the ground, listen to your customers, and act accordingly.