Nathalie Drewello

5 Internet Marketing Tips for Small Business

5 Internet Marketing Tips For Small Business

As a small business owner whose potential clients aren’t necessarily people passing by the shop, you cannot ignore internet marketing in today’s economy.

If you want to stay competitive in your market, you know (hopefully) that marketing and more precisely Internet marketing is the way to go.

Although you are aware of the importance of marketing, you still wonder what to do or even where to start especially if you’ve little knowledge about the subject.

You might think online marketing is such a vast topic that you can easily feel lost between market research, branding, social media marketing, etc and promoting your business overall.

I hear from you!

Here are 5 important tips to start with your Internet marketing if you’re a small business:

  # 1 Tip: It starts with your website!

It might seem obvious to you that having a website is crucial for your business. But, believe it or not, I still meet business owners who don’t have any and who don’t even think that they need one.

You should ask yourself the following questions:

  • How do my customers find me?
  • Where do I sell my services or product?
  • How can my clients trust me if I have no website where they can check things out?

Or, if entrepreneurs have an online site, sometimes it doesn’t look professional, not up-to-date or not even mobile-friendly.

Again, ask yourself: Does my website look professional?

 If not, will my customers trust what I have to offer on my website?

Try to put yourself in your client’s shoes, would you buy on a website that looks poorly designed?

I guess, no.

So, why would you do it for your own business?

Nowadays they are so many platforms out there that help you build your own website. So, you have no excuse not to have a website. However, if you have limited time or you don’t think you’re so technical, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune.

Your website is the first ‘point of contact’ between you and your clients. It helps create trust and credibility. Think about it, on your website you showcase your products or services, provide customer care, offer valuable information to your customers and much more.

#2 Tip: Think Local

Get the basics done. If you have a local business, think about adding your business on a free listing such as Google my Business and Yell. Google my Business particularly is a powerful marketing tool that has features that other directories don’t have. For instance, you can post content, create events and list your products and services with their price tags.

Another awesome local marketing idea would be to write in your local newspaper about your products or services. In your article, you demonstrate how your services/products can add value to the community.

These tips described above are just to name a few but much more can be done for local businesses.

#3 Tip: List Building and Email marketing

You should definitely think of building a mailing list as it the backbone of your business.

Emails are collected via a webform that you placed on your website. And, you can decide to embed a form from a marketing service platform such as Mailchimp or Mailerlite. Or, you can create a form on your website and then connect to a marketing service provider via API integration.

It’s very easy to set up, but, if you have limited time, don’t hesitate to ask some support from a professional.

It might take time to build up a consequent list of potential customers but it worth the effort.

Email marketing is a powerful strategy that helps to create a relationship with your existing and future customers. Avoid being a hard seller; you should rather think in terms of adding value to their life. Once the trust is there, customers are more likely to buy from you than from your competitors.

#4 Tip: Social Media

There was a time social media was just that; social media and nothing else. Today, we are talking about social media marketing, just as you’ve realized, things have changed a lot for the past few years.

If you don’t like social media platforms or can’t see how they can serve your business, you better think twice. You can’t help it if your customers are for instance on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. You are missing out a lot by not showing up there. Besides, nobody asks you to hang out with no purpose. These platforms are great to connect with your audience, build your brand, drive website traffic and increase sales.

By the way, you don’t have to be on all the social media platforms, you should only focus on those which are relevant to your business.

#5 Testimonials

Another great tip for online marketing for small businesses is a testimonial.

Have you ever bought something online without checking for reviews? We’re all doing it.

And, I would assume you do the same.

Your customers will check what other people think about your services/products. So, make sure that positive testimonials are showing up on your website, or on other platforms where your customers can see them. Testimonials are always helpful as they represent a sign of trust.

Finally, even though you have little knowledge of Internet marketing these simple 5 tips will help you get started. As you can imagine, there are many more ideas to implement in digital marketing.

However, you can focus on a few marketing strategies as long as they show great results.

Feel free to contact me if you need some assistance with building your website and for your marketing.

Why Is It So Important To Update And Optimize Your Website Regularly?

laptop and notebook for wordpress website update

You finally made your way to the online world by having a website and that’s great. But, just don’t stop there. Do you know that your website needs to be updated and optimized regularly?

Let’s explore why is it so important to do so.

Show you care and are passionate about your business

 

I am baffled to see that some websites have not updated their content for over a year.

It is to wonder if the company is still in operation. Or, the next question that might come to your mind would be: “Do they care about their own business? How passionate are they about what they do? “

If you don’t show any interest in your own business by not updating your website, why customers should be bothered about your services?

By updating your website, you demonstrate to your customers that you do care and are passionate about what you do. This generally make clients want to know more about what you have to offer and eventually buy from you.

By the way, the change doesn’t have to be paramount. For instance, changing pictures or adding some more could bring some freshness into the look of the website.

Breaking down a big chunk of text into small paragraph and adding subtitle make already another difference in the design. Content will always look more engaging and easier to read.

Another simple example and yet that business owners (specially brick-and-mortar store) fail to achieve is to update their price list. The other day, I searched online for a beauty salon in Ilford and found one with more reasonable price than the one I used to go. So, I called them to book an appointment and after giving me a time slot, the manager mentioned that the price on the website was not accurate. Really? They don’t realise how upsetting it is. Sorry but this come across like they try to defeat me. According to her, the prices have changed since January this year and I called in May.

What is the point to have a website if you are not able to give accurate information about your services?

Do they ever think about the user experience?

Better User-Experience

In this ever-evolving world where information is everywhere, customers become more and more demanding. They don’t even have the patience to wait for a page to load more than 2 seconds, so imagine not displaying accurate information such as the price. At this stage, customers are gone. That doesn’t make it easy for business owners, does it?

Making a few changing on your website shouldn’t take too long to achieve. If you can make the change yourself, it is great otherwise ask help from a professional web designer.

If you optimize your website to provide a better user experience, your customers will enjoy the visit. And chances are they will certainly return.

Again, changes don’t have to be massive to be effective.  Let’s take the example of Sainsbury online grocery. They have made some changes to their interface months back. They put orange button for each item. This small change jump into my eyes as soon as I logged in. Then, they made another change on the trolley icon, the total of products bought can be seen.

The difference was obvious. And, I could say that the shopping experience is pleasant.

User experience is so vital nowadays that you cannot ignore it. Customers are more educated and expect more from your website.

 Getting More Traffic

Google is dominating the search market, either we like it or not. They often make changes in their algorithm that affect a website ranking.  Therefore, Business owners must be aware of what the search engine is looking after. 

Currently, it seems that Google is interested in content relevancy. So, if you have a blog, this is the perfect platform to write good quality and relevant content to your niche.

Optimising your website regularly for SEO is crucial to attract more traffic to your website.

How Often Should a website be updated and optimised?

In the title of this article, I have already given a clue regarding the frequency.

Obviously changing the main content regularly wouldn’t make sense. However, it is advised to update the About page content every 6 months. So basically, twice a year you can tweak a bit the text or add more information if you wish.

Regarding blog post, ideally it should be written every week. The number is up to you. If you can commit to write every day or post a few times a week, you should do it.

And, you will start getting more traffic as long as you continue delivering relevant and quality content.

Hopefully, you have understood now that updating and optimizing your website regularly is crucial if you want to stay at the top of the search. And finally, retaining or attracting more customers.