Get A Bigger Slice of The Business Pie
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If you’ve recently started a business or you’re looking to take your business to the next level, you’re probably thinking about how you can get ahead of the game online, tapping into new markets on the internet. The bad news is, you’re pretty late to the party, the good news is; most people that already have their business online don’t really know what they’re doing, so there’s still plenty of scope to build your business.
Where to start though? Trust me, you could work on your online presence all day, everyday if you really wanted to, but to save you a little time, I’m running through the basic steps you should take (and the first steps I would take for that matter) if you want to tap into online sales. Have a read, give them a go and you’ll be rolling in the money in no time*
*Money rolling may vary.
Get A Site Up & Running
Listen, I’m not telling you to get a new website, simply because I can build you one, that would be incredibly cynical and in poor taste (incidentally, did I mention that I can totally help get your new website sorted?). Honestly, the first step in building up your business online is definitely to get a website sorted out, it will become your customer’s destination and work as a platform for developing your leads and sales.
What do you need to think about when deciding on a website for your business? Firstly, what needs to be included? What information do your customers need to make an informed decision on your business? It may be that you simply need a one pager, which delivers all the right information, in one simple layout. Perhaps you’ll need a little more information, or the ability to grow the site as your business does? That’s achievable too.
It’s also worth considering how your customers will interact with your site. Mobile first web design has really taken off over the past few years, meaning a website design is perfected with mobile and smartphones in mind. In most cases, this is a pretty decent strategy, but not all.
I’ll be honest I’ve been guilty of forgetting this in the past but; build your site around the device your customers will use! It’s OK having a site that’s mind blowing on mobile but if your target audience aren’t using phones, what’s the point? Obviously, this works both ways. (Our sites are optimised for all devices by the way).
Add Some Analytics
Google Analytics can give you some insight into what works and what doesn’t for your customers on your business website. With a little bit of practice you’ll be able to find out key information like; where your site visitors live, how they access your site, how long they spend on your site and when and where they left. How does any of this help you?
Here’s an example, you have five pages, all five receive a similar amount of traffic, one of the pages sees your site visitors leave without interacting, not good. By using Google Analytics, you can quickly identify pages that don’t work and need fixing or changing; the result? Better conversions, better leads and better sales.
I’m fully aware that Google Analytics sounds like major nerd stuff, it can be, but take it from me; even if you’re not planning to use it straight away, it’s worth adding Analytics to your site, it can collect data ‘in the background’ so you’ll be building an insightful picture ready to act on, anytime.
Set Up Your Social
Right, if you’ve been apprehensive about setting up a business website, I’m going to take a guess that you’re pretty put off by social media too. Don’t be.
It’s a common theme of businesses to ignore social media, simply because they can’t get their head around it. Start getting your head around it; it can be a great stepping stone for your customers onto your site (you may even be reading this blog after clicking through from Facebook, if so, leave a comment below!). Even if you don’t have any plans as yet to start your content marketing plan, it’s well worth setting up the basic social media platforms for your business in preparation.
My advice, don’t go mad. There are hundreds of social media platforms out there, that doesn’t mean you’ll need to use them all. A simple rule of thumb; business to business website? LinkedIn. Business to consumer? Facebook and Twitter should suffice. Having said that, it doesn’t hurt to check.
Register With Google My Business
To save you a job, you can find out how to register your business with Google My Business here.
Google My Business is basically a shortcut to letting people find your business (locally) on Google search. This means, your business can be found by potential customers when they search for services like yours, in the areas you cover. For example; Web Designers in Sheffield.
After registering, you can let customers know vital business information like opening times (don’t be tempted to lie!), services offered and price ranges, all of which can be backed up by customer reviews (which I highly recommend you ask for).
Local citations are basically a fancy way of saying ‘local listing’s. Think Yell(ow Pages), BT Phonebook and Thomspon.
Registering your business with local citations will contribute to how high and how frequently your business shows up in local Google searches (remember, your customers are probably searching ‘Your Service’ in ‘Your Area’). When you’re registering your local citations, there are a few things to keep in mind;
Firstly, it’s good practice to keep consistent information from one directory to the next. Don’t tell Yell one thing and Thompson another; don’t be tempted to try and spread your services across different sites either. If your main business is Plumbing, keep it at Plumbing throughout, Google will do the rest.
Secondly, some directory sites will try and sell you advertising space, this is a little annoying, but be firm, all you really need is a free business listing.
If you’re looking for a list of directory sites to get started listing your business on, Whitespark have it covered.
Sit And Wait For The Big Bucks To Roll In
If you do all of the above I guarantee you will be miles ahead of the majority of your competitors. Your site will start to rank in a few months; but there are a few little caveats I should state…
1: No one, absolutely no one can guarantee your new business website will rank in Google #1. If they tell you otherwise, they’re lying.
2: Success varies on effort. Doing all the above is a great start, but it’s not the finish line, working on your site regularly will also pay off.
3: You can lead a horse to water, you can’t make it drink. If your site dominates Google, but your on page copy and images are sub par, you’ll not be on top for very long: Don’t cut corners at the site build stage!
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