Using the internet to market your small business has moved on from just having from a static or even an e-commerce website. You should now be looking to encompass a whole array of tools and techniques designed to get prospects visiting and re-visiting your site and doing what you want them to when they’re on it.
They say first impressions are everything and that also goes for your business website. Much of it is just a fashion thing; you don’t want your website to look out of date any more than your car or your clothes. However, the pace of internet technology is such that beauty is not just skin deep. Newer sites will be able to accommodate the latest innovations better and your site should definitely be responsive to screen size so that the increasing number of mobile and tablet visitors get a first-rate experience.
Focus on Action
Whilst the basic design and colour scheme of your site will be a personal preference to some extent, it is important that the primary purpose of the site is understood and the design tailored to that goal. You may be trying to get people to buy, donate or contact you, but whatever it is your website must be built around that aim. Text, graphics and buttons should guide visitors to ‘buy now’ or ‘get in touch’ in appropriate places on the site. Don’t just let your visitors drift around aimlessly.
Good Basic SEO
This article is far too short to get into discussion about Search Engine Optimisation and the techniques for getting a prime position on Google are constantly changing. It is important though, that your web pages are produced with the correct information to help the search engines and social media categorise and index your pages correctly. Whilst your search position is increasingly dependent on the quality of your web content, give yourself the best chance of ranking by making sure the pages are correctly put together for search.
You’ve put together a great basic website and people are finding it through search- that’s great, but having visited once, why would they ever think of coming back again? Well, you need to give them a reason by filling your site with ever changing content. Start with some news and updates. They can be about your industry, local area, staff or customers. It doesn’t matter too much as long as they are regularly updated and interesting. This gives people something to come back for and gives you something to shout about to your visitor base.
Even if you’re a beginner in your business, you’re still an expert compared to the rest of us. Make this clear with regular articles giving your visitors advice, help, DIY tips, comments and opinion on the industry you’re a part of, or the wider issues which your visitor base may be interested in such as local, or demographic matters.
Having created all this fabulous content we need to tell everyone about it; start to gather your followers together using whatever networks suit your business type: Facebook for B2C, Twitter and Google+ for B2B or B2C, LinkedIn for contacts in larger organisations and Pinterest if you’re in the visual or arts industries. Video is also an increasingly important medium, so don’t be bashful about putting together a short piece for YouTube or Vine. Don’t just bleat on about your own business or articles, make sure you’re sharing a good stream of useful and interesting posts with just a few of your own thrown into the mix.
Having grabbed people’s attention with your content and social posts, they may be interested in hearing from you on a regular basis by getting updates whenever you write a new blog, news update, or by reading a regular newsletter summarising your content. Make sure your followers can sign up for both of these on the web site and use something like Mailchimp to prepare your regular newsletter.
Feedback Through Analysis
Lastly, keep tabs on how things are going so you can react to what works and stop what doesn’t. Use Google analytics or a WordPress analysis tool to look at what your site visitors are doing and what’s got them there in the first place.