When you first start your business, you should already be thinking about how you are going to market it. Ideally you should be thinking about that even before you launch your business. In 2015, it’s incredibly important that your new business hits the ground running. Otherwise, it can easily get lost in the shuffle of all the other companies and all the noise out there. You certainly aren’t the only person trying to make their new business a success this year. You won’t even be the only new business owner in your chosen industry. You must claim success as soon as you can. How do you do this?
Your success comes from consumers and how many you catch the attention of. If you don’t make an impression on potential customers, you will be forgotten. It’s about how well you promote your business and whether you can provide something of value and translate that value to consumers. This is all about marketing. Whether your business is online or offline, I think that you should focus mainly on internet marketing, at least to begin with. You may think that to attract local customers, you need to use a form of offline marketing. But, as you are about to discover there are ways to market your business to customers locally without resorting to billboards. Let’s start off with the basics.
SEO is quite literally the key to getting your business noticed online. Forget about all the other marketing ploys that you may have heard about for the moment because they don’t come close to SEO. If you are not familiar with SEO, I can help you here by showing you exactly what it is. SEO stands for search engine optimization. In all likelihood, it’s how you found my blog. We’ll get to why you stuck around a little later. SEO is how you get your website noticed on a search results page. When users look for a product or service online, they immediately type in a keyword or phrase into a search engine. SEO ensures that your website appears when they are searching for a product or service that you are selling.
SEO incorporates a number of different methods and tools. It also connects to other types of internet marketing, such as social media. But for now, let’s look at the basic term. The basic term means to add keywords, links and other SEO building tools into your website. You may think that sounds quite simple, but actually, it isn’t. These SEO tools must look natural and cannot be there for the pure purpose of increasing SEO. That’s why many business owners invest in SEO from professional marketing companies. One such recommended company is Central Iowa SEO services as they are familiar with the new Google penalties and algorithms that are currently in use. They can help to improve your company’s search result so that you are easily found online.
I should briefly mention PPC (which stands for pay-per-click). This could be seen as the alternate of SEO. Instead of working with keywords and content to get your site to the top of a search results window, your site becomes a sponsored link. Sponsored links always appear at the top of the search results page and are guaranteed to be seen. But, not all people trust these links and only thirty percent of users click on them. A benefit is that you will only pay for this service if people click on your site. They will, of course, but there is no guarantee they will become a customer and purchase something from you. You could lose money by doing this if you get a lot of clicks and does not convert into sales.
Of course, if you want to make sure that users do make purchases from your site, you should examine CRO. CRO stands for conversion rate optimization and is a measure of what makes users commit to purchasing after they view a site. This is at least partially related to web design.
When designing your website, you must make sure that it is attractive, clear and easy to navigate. An easy way to think about how to design your site is to think about the sites that you frequent and prefer – aside from the content what keeps you coming back to use the same sites, rather than switch to the competitors? For a blog, it could be the tone of the writing or stories being shared.
Don’t forget to incorporate responsive design into your website. Responsive design means that the way the website functions changes depending on what device it is being viewed on. This makes it user friendly on mobile devices so that customers can easily read and navigate your site.
Your website should be colourful with pictures and videos. Do not overpack it with too much clutter though. People tend to like some white space when viewing websites. I would also caution against placing too many ads on your site. When designing your site, you should consider using a professional designer. They can make sure your site has responsive design and guide you on your website’s appearance and layout.
Finally, let’s talk about my favorite thing: social media. Social media profiles are the perfect way to market your business easily, and at a low cost compared to other forms of advertising. In fact, if you have some social media know-how, you can do a lot of social media marketing for free. Also, don’t forget that by using social profiles effectively, you will be using a natural form of SEO. Getting information shared off your site (on Twitter, Facebook, etc) automatically increases your search ranking. Using social media effectively also means knowing why you are using a particular social media platform as well as how and this is done by coming up with a strategy before you start. Using appropriate hashtags and visual content on social channels is important too.
There are many social channels to market your business on. Know your ideal audience and where they are beforehand. There is no point being on LinkedIn or Facebook if your audience uses Snapchat. Don’t overwhelm yourself either by being on every social media platform you can find. It is much better to pick one or two social media platforms to start and do those well than to be everywhere and do them all poorly. Consistency is key when using social media. Experiment with frequency and measure the results.
Do you have any marketing tips that you’d like to share? I would love to hear them below in the comments section.
Photo Credits: Bigstock
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