So what do you need to do to promote your business and get found online?
Do you need to promote your business but not sure how? All too often new (and even existing) business owners setup and launch their website and then wonder why there is very little or even no website traffic (visitors) looking at their website, or why there are no sales or enquiries coming in – this is both disheartening and frustrating.
Because of this we often get asked about the best ways to help promote a business online initially for free before considering paid-for services like Search Engine Optimisation, Social Media Marketing or Google AdWords and, most of the time, its all the small things that would benefit the most that get overlooked or are not even thought of in the first place, but fear not! There are lots of different things that you can do to help improve your online visibility and drive traffic to your website and promote your business online – and all for free! Great!
You really do need to Blog
This is one of the best and most effective ways to drive traffic through to your website and always will be, yet many tend to not even consider a blog or find the prospect of blog writing daunting. Nowadays Google is all about great purposeful content that really helps people in one way or another, and with a bit of thought just about every business type can find great subjects to blog about that will help or assist your customers.
Think about the sort of questions you get asked on a regular basis – it might be advice or guidance on how to do something or even providing how-to guides for your customers or perhaps blogs on how to fix or make something; for example, if you are a plumber why not write a how-to guide on bleeding a radiator, or if you are a gardening services company, advice and tips on pruning rose bushes would be useful to your customers.
Take the time to write good quality blogs that will serve a purpose and provide great information; not a rushed blog that doesn’t really benefit or help anyone. If you find it a struggle then consider employing the services of a blog writer. We offer blog / content writing services.
Get on Google My Business
When searching for a business on Google, you may (or may not) have noticed the boxed section that appears to the right-hand side of search results, containing business information including opening times, contact information, reviews and more. If you are unsure, then click here to see Vaccoda’s My Business profile (link opens in a new tab) and look to the right.
It costs nothing to setup your Google My Business profile and simply involves setting up a Google account, then adding a few details about your business. Google requires verification and this is generally done by postcard that is sent to your business address. Inside this postcard you will find a pin code that verifys your Google My Business profile. We recommend that everyone does this as it really is a great way to promote your business.
To setup your Google My Business profile click here to start now! (link opens in a new tab).
Use only the best pictures and images
Having a really nice looking website is one thing, but using poor quality images and photos to promote your business, its services or products can really let it down. It is so so important to use the best quality images you can – even if this means buying professional stock imagery or employing the services of a photographer to take your pics, never scrimp on this part. There are plenty of free image websites you can use too. Below is a list of both free and paid-for stock image websites:
- Pixabay www.pixabay.com
- HiResStock www.hiresstock.com
- PicJumbo www.picjumbo.com
- Pexels www.pexels.com
- StockSnap www.stocksnap.io
- Gratisography www.gratisography.com
- Unsplash www.unsplash.com
- Morguefile www.morguefile.com
- FreeImages www.freeimages.com
- GetRefe www.getrefe.com
Paid-for stock images
Promote your business using online business directories
Linking to good quality, relevant online business directories, such as Yell.com, Scoot and other more local business directories will really help to promote your business and improves your online visibility. Take the time to search Google for business directories by searching broadly for “business directories” or even “UK business directories” but also locally too, so things like “Kent business directories”, changing “Kent” to match your county / area.
Spend time adding all the information in or as much information as possible, including details about your business such as opening times, contact details, description, key services, your business logo, images (if allowed). Consistency is key here so make sure the information add is exactly the same (where possible) across all the directories you submit your business information to.
Text content and spellings!
Good text content that introduces you, your business and its products or services is what sets you apart from the masses and delivers the right message(s) to the minds of your customers. Ultimately the right content wins the wallets or purses of your customers. All the other elements to your website, such as design, visuals, videos, etc all help to convert your website visitors into customers, however design itself does not sell – content does.
Its all about the customer
The key to writing great content that really sells you, your business as a whole and more specifically your products/services is to make sure that you do your market research first. Look at who your target audience(s) are, where they usually buy from, why they buy from your competitors, and look at what you can do better. Your content must be customer-centric, so rather than talking about your business or its products/services first and foremost, you should write about what you can do for your customer and focus on the needs and wants of your audience.
Make me laugh
Personality is also important and is essential for earning trust, converting website visitors and claiming your own identity online. Building an online presence that portrays your company accurately and makes it welcoming with a sprinkle of personality is vital to any ongoing successes you expect to achieve. Tell a story – people love a story, make fun of yourself – just get the attention of your readers, they will appreciate this and want to come back for more.
Obviously content needs to be helpful and purposeful on your website, however giving a little knowledge to help your website audience in blogs or even as part of your core services content will always be appreciated and will convert website customers into sales.
People don’t like to think they are being ripped-off or fleeced, so giving something away always builds trust and appreciation. For example, if you are a plumber, why not provide a step-by-step guide to bleeding a radiator or if you are an electrician, a guide to changing a plug for example. It’s the small snippets of helpful information that will mean so much to your customers.
To be a Wordsworth … or not to be
Don’t use big words. Gone are the days where website content resembled a dictionary. Long words is a turn-off to readers and the fancier the word, the more likely you will be perceived to be a show-off. People want to get to things quickly and easily with minimum fuss, so unnecessarily causing browsing stress and anxiety with stupidly long and complicated words that your website visitors need to try and understand is a no-go.
Take the time to spell properly. Don’t overlook the spell-checker when writing your website content. Nothing puts people off more than poor grammar and badly written sentences. Using the correct punctuation is also equally as important.
Use Social Media!
Even though more and more business are adopting Social Media as part of their online marketing strategy, it surprises me that businesses still don’t fully appreciate the huge benefits it can bring. In some instances business owners almost treat Social Media like its some sort of ‘annoyance’ to have to Tweet every day, or post Facebook statuses, and we hear all the excuses – almost like it it’s homework!
We have heard it all – “I don’t understand how it works” or “Social Media definitely won’t work for my business” or even “I don’t have the time to do it” … well you really need to understand how it works, accept the fact that Social Media will work for your business and find the time to maintain your profiles, because Social Media is here to stay, and this powerful free marketing medium can generate no-end of customers, followers, sales and enquiries if you spend just a little time using it daily. If you really don’t want to do it or don’t have the time then we can manage your profiles for you with our Social Media management service.
Make the most of hashtags and Social Media networking groups
If you have Social Media accounts already setup but not sure what to do to get the best out of them, then there are many things you can do to promote your business and get yourself seen online. Hashtags are a great way to get visibility – remember to include some hashtag words within your posts, especially hashtags connected to local Social Media networking groups. For example, the best known networking groups in the Bromley and Beckenham areas are #BeckBromFL (covering Beckenham and Bromley) #WowBromley (covering Bromley) and #Bromleycupper (also covers Bromley). It is also recommended to follow these accounts as well on both Twitter and Facebook. Whenever you include these hashtags within your posts they will be seen by others that have also used these hashtags in their posts.
Connecting with others using hashtags and hashtag hours (see this post for a list of all the hashtags you can use, and check out this post for more information on hashtags and what they are – both links open in a new tab) is a great and free way to connect with other businesses and build your business profile on Social Media, so make the effort to find out about local Social Media networking groups that you can use to promote your business.
Final thoughts and summary
When you launch a business online, it needn’t be a daunting task to market yourself – with a little time and effort, there are many things you can do to really get your name out there.
Allocate some time each day to focus on the tasks I have discussed above, and in no time you will begin to see your online visibility increase.
Remember that we can also manage your Social Media, Search Engine Optimisation and other marketing activities if you need us to – just get in touch and we can have a chat about the options and what you need.