I’ve been listening to my clients and much of what I hear is that everyone wants a better return on investment when it comes to the time they spend on their business. I understand! As a small business owner, I’ve built various platforms to show what I can do to help business owners. With assorted websites and blogs covering different areas and studying Google Analytics for each, running ads through Google and Facebook, I see what works and what doesn’t.
I wanted to share some simple tips for small business owners who are ready boost their online presence.
Here’s my Top Ten Actions To Boost Your Online Presence.
Since Facebook is the one of the most searched websites across the planet with over a billion users, be sure you have a company page and are using it. (Rather than your personal page all the time.) Include details, images, links, video links and post something everyday if possible. Also remember, it’s okay to write about your company on your company page, but both your personal profile and company page should be social.
More people search for someone online than through any paper phone book, so be sure your company is listed on Google Plus including Maps and Yahoo Local. Ask clients to write reviews, which will help your placement. Add details about your company, links, photos, etc.
Be sure that your website is sending a clear message, not only about what you do or are offering, but how it relates to the visitor. How will your product or service help someone? Think of the user sitting at the computer and they’ve come across your site, what is that first page saying to them. Is there too much going on and they don’t know what to read or click on? Clean, simple, direct.
Make sure that you are using the meta tags, “title”, “description” and “keywords” to their fullest. It’s these details that will help someone who is searching, find your business.
Be sure that your content is informative and helpful. If you are selling a product, write about that product and how it will help someone know if they want it or not. If you just put an image and a price, but not enough information, the consumer might click away and visit another product site. If you’re blogging, teach them something, and they might just forward the link to a friend. BONUS TIP: DON’T UPLOAD IMAGES TO YOUR WEBSITE/BLOG DIRECT FROM YOUR CAMERA, WITH SOME AMBIGUOUS NUMBER! Name your images as you would name a page on your site, and NO SPACES BETWEEN THE WORDS!
Since this site is about branding, and I’ve come to realize so many don’t know what “branding” is or why they need it, here goes. It’s about a simple, clean, direct design and sending a clear message. Branding is all about bringing that message to the print and web marketing you need. Your “logo” and “tagline” along with the color palette, type of photography, graphic materials and website or blog design, all need to have continuity and style and look like they all belong to the same family. If your business card, brochure and website are all different, then you’re sending mixed signals and you’re confusing people. Branding is the follow through from a-z for everything your company needs to look professional and be successful. (ex: In preparing a branding guide for a client, I would include some of the following, logo usage for print and web, colors used, both Pantone flat colors and web palette colors, types of photographs or illustrations that are appropriate, sizes and usage for graphic elements, details about their new website…)
Many people ask friends for recommendations, so be sure your friends know what you do. You’d be surprised how many friends don’t know exactly what you do. (I have a client who originally hired me to help them with their website, but had no idea of my past experience in book design. I happened to see his posting about writing a new book, and wrote to him. He didn’t know or had forgotten my overall experience.) Most times a person is searching online for something specific, and when they get the results to that query, may not have time to look around. Don’t be afraid to take a few minutes and enlighten.
Send an online newsletter (if you aren’t). You can send it out once a week, month or bi-monthly. I suggest twice a month. This is an easy way to keep your friends and clients informed about what you’ve been up to, what you’re selling or featuring. You don’t need to attach anything, once created within the email marketing company’s template structure, it goes to the email list you created, and since the end users have the option to opt-in or opt-out, the email hopefully isn’t bouncing or hitting their spam folder.
Be sure to link up your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn accounts with your blog. Once you’ve done this, blogs and pages can be shared around by many.
And lastly....Remember, we can’t do everything. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t assume everything costs more than you can afford. In a struggling economy, everybody is reaching for the same goals. To be successful!