Dear experts: I’m a small business owner, and we’re just starting out. I’m setting my sights on growing and expanding, but I need some guidance for making the right investments for the needs of the business. I don’t want to waste my time or money on marketing strategies that don’t work. Can you advise me about options that will bring me tangible long-term benefits? 

We’re here to help with some ideas. 

You can start by creating an SEO-friendly website. Today, more than half of consumers are choosing to find or engage with brands online. So creating a website for your business can help you drive more business and reach a wider demographic. You’ll need to ensure that you can scale your website as your business grows while adapting to changes in Google’s search algorithms. 

Because more than half of all website traffic comes from organic searches, incorporating search engine optimization (SEO) into your website can boost performance in search engine rankings. Google tends to rank websites that users prefer higher, so it’s essential for your website to engage potential consumers. 

To obtain the most return for your website, track metrics to gather information about your consumers. In addition, make your website user-friendly by creating seamless navigation. Finally, include contact information for your business and educate users about your products and services.

If you’re not sure where to start, platforms like Wix.com offer free, professional website layouts to users, and no knowledge of coding is required to build a website. If you’re interested in optimizing SEO, consider investing in the services of SEO professionals.

Next, realize that nearly everybody has an email account that they check regularly. Incorporating email marketing into your business’s marketing strategy will allow you to communicate regularly with customers. In addition, you’ll be able to email customers with information about your latest sales or new products. 

For the highest return on your email marketing campaign, purchase email lists to reach a wide customer base. Make sure to send useful and relevant contact to avoid unsubscribing. It’s also important to keep content diverse while maintaining consistency in language and formatting.

Investing in email lists will raise brand awareness and drive organic traffic to your website while helping you build a unique brand voice and a community of loyal customers.

Marketing needs to be a priority. Google is a powerful way for consumers to learn about new products and services in their area. So it’s crucial to optimize your website to rank as high as possible in local search engine results. Practicing local SEO and maintaining your online presence can help you connect with potential customers in your area.

Shifting your focus to offline outlets, including newspapers, radio stations, and other businesses, will allow you to build your reputation with your community. To increase local exposure for your business, consider reaching out to your local newspaper. Running events or donating a portion of your revenue to a charity you support can create a meaningful connection with your community while driving business.

Finally, asking customers for online reviews can not only help with SEO, but can also show potential consumers that your business is credible, According to a recent survey, 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from a friend, while 74 percent of consumers report that positive reviews increases brand trust. 

Because more consumers are reading reviews and conducting research before making a purchase, online reviews can yield high returns for your business. To gain more reviews, start by asking loyal customers or by offering a discount for consumers who leave a review. Making it easy for customers to leave reviews and then personally responding to each review can further help increase sales and help your business become more reputable as a brand.

Ultimately, devoting time and money to worthwhile marketing strategies can help your small business expand while raising brand awareness.

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