Please enjoy this guest post from my colleague Stephanie Chandler.
A small business owner’s work is never done, is it? That goes triple for your online marketing. Since the interwebs is always growing and changing, your online marketing should too.
You have just a few seconds to capture the attention of visitors to your website. They will quickly scan the page, and if they can’t locate what they are looking for, they move on just as quickly as they arrived. Due to the short attention span of most online users, every word on your website matters. To make it easy for visitors, incorporate attention-grabbing headings and break up text with bulleted lists. The copy on your pages should appeal to the wants and needs of your target audience, while making it easy for them to find answers they need.
Google looks at the keywords and phrases from your website to assess what your site is about. So if you sell wedding gowns in Wichita, the home page for your site should include those keywords. Once you have identified a key phrase that your customers would use to search for your business, it should be incorporated into the page title, meta tags, page description, and then repeated two or three times in the text on the page. To get the most out of this important strategy, assign a different key phrase to each and every page in your site. This small change can have a big impact on the traffic you receive from the search engines.
Google likes websites that have fresh data, so each time you add content to your site; you improve its position in the search engines. Get in the habit of adding new content to your site each week. You might include articles, industry news, customer profiles, case studies, product demonstration videos or content provided by guests. Better yet, add a blog to your site if you don’t already have one. A blog not only makes it easy to add content frequently, but it improves the experience for site visitors by providing them with fresh information and an opportunity to communicate with you.
E-mail is one of the most inexpensive and powerful ways to market your business. Whether you send newsletters, special sale announcements or a round-up of recent blog posts, e-mail marketing allows you to get repeat exposure with your prospects and customers. Provide incentive for new subscribers by offering a bonus such as an ebook, whitepaper, or discount on services. Most importantly, respect your e-mail list. Build loyalty with subscribers by providing valuable content and monitoring the frequency in which you contact them.
If your website hasn’t been updated in years, consider adopting a fresh new look. Take the opportunity to survey users to find out what improvements they would like to see. Incorporate new technology, such as blogging or videos, to make your site more interactive. Also be sure to incorporate search engine optimization (SEO) so that you can be confident in knowing that your site works like a magnet for website traffic. Search online to find reputable service providers who can assist with these changes.
Stephanie Chandler is the author of Leap!: 101 Ways to Grow Your Business and spokesperson for Project Rev, a year-long small business marketing lab hosted by Deluxe Corporation.
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