1. Professional Website
Your website is the basic building block to a strong online presence; not having one makes it difficult to get your business found. It is important to have a strong website that is optimized with the proper keywords and responsive for all platforms.
Provide unique, compelling, high-quality content on your website. Keep your content fresh and updated regularly.
3. Social Media
Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are keys to small business growth. These platforms have become huge forums for people to share, discuss, and promote businesses. Social “Likes” are factored into search rankings, and they can drive significant traffic to your site.
Search engines consider many factors in ranking your website. Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to the process of “optimizing’ both on-page and off-page factors to achieve high rankings for targeted search teams to reach your target market.
5. Online Directories
Citysearch, Superpages, Google Places, Yahoo Local, Bing Local, Merchant Circle, Yellow Pages, Kudzu, Yellowbook, Local.com, and Manta are just a few of the locations where you should be listed. These listings are important for local search because they help establish your NAP location (Name, Address, Phone Number) and improve your relevancy and position.
6. Online Reviews
Almost three quarters of U.S. internet users who go online before deciding to make a purchase search for consumer reviews. Others’ opinions of your products and services are very relevant in online marketing.
Need help from local experts in online marketing and implementing best practices in website design and online marketing? Contact us today!
Opportunities for marketing have drastically changed in the past few years due to the emergence of the internet and advancement in technology. Not only is native marketing taking over traditional advertising, but direct selling and network selling is taking over traditional salesforces (consider the rise of brands such as doTERRA or Cutco). If you are involved in direct selling of any kind, don't think that you can't utilize the power of online marketing too. By using a personalized marketing strategy on your own website and tapping into the power of social media sites, you can increase brand awareness and produce more leads or sales.
Use a Professional Website Design
While the internet is a great place for marketing, you don't want to just use a cookie-cutter template to market your business and products. You must distinguish yourself from the thousands of other people in your industry. All too often, direct sellers will just use the marketing tools that are provided by their parent company. It's much better to utilize a professional website design and build your own brand. By adding that extra amount of flair and personality to your marketing, it sets you apart from all the other sellers in your niche. You can become an authority figure who people respect when you have a site that's been created with a professional website design.
Social Media Pages Work
Social media sites are one of the most popular destinations on the web. By starting a Facebook Page that profiles your brand, you have a chance to connect with other individuals who may be interested in your business or the products that you sell. You can send your social media Page visitors directly to your website so that they can learn more about your brand and what you have to offer. By having a professional website design on your site that uses the same colors used on your promotional page, it helps strengthen your brand awareness. People love to share videos and images with their friends. If you create value and post it on your Page, it's likely to be shared.
Success With Tweets
By utilizing Twitter, you can quickly inform followers about contests, events or discounts. It's also an excellent platform for network marketers, which is all about gaining more people. Market your events and use the chat session feature to start a discussion with anyone who is curious about your business. Use the Search bar, to look for other people who are tweeting about your company and products. When you discover a positive comment, use that as a testimonial and add it to your Favorites list.
As you can see, having your own branded website and a combination of marketing that includes social media sites, you can increase your brand awareness, which will help boost leads and sales.
The goal of your website is to increase engagement with potential customers and individuals who are already familiar with your brand. How your website is designed will play a key role in impacting business sales. To ensure that your site is fully optimized to provide positive interactions with visitors, it's best to incorporate these 5 guidelines into your website design strategy:
1. Colors and Appearance
The colors that are used on your website should be appropriate for your industry. As an example, green is often a color that's used on financial websites as it provokes a look that is financial. It can be associated with the color of United States currency and is one of the cooler colors. Also, you will see the color blue on these type of sites. A feeling of trust is associated with this color and that's important for an audience when financial information is being discussed.
2. Satisfaction and Consistency
When a user visits your site and sees a visually appealing design, it predisposes them to automatically be satisfied with the services or products that you sell. Their mindset will be more approving and positive. As an example, imagine a large brand like Samsung. They offer product lines such as Samsung appliances, smart TVs, cameras, computers and PCs. Within all of these product lines, there is a strong relationship and brand identity.
When marketing is conducted, the personality and attitude of the brand is projected. This taps into the subconscious mind of a customer. It just feels better to purchase from a brand when you respect them and have loyalty to their products. This can be projected with the design of your website.
3. Loading Speed
Another factor that should be considered in your design is the speed at which your content appears in the browser. Faster loading times equal user satisfaction, and it will also increase your chances of being ranked higher in the search engine results pages as Google factors this element into their algorithm.
4. Mobile Responsive Design
Each year, the number of smartphone users on the internet is rising. Individuals have switched from personal computers to smaller devices. This interaction requires you to make sure that your website can be seen on all types of devices -- personal computers, tablets and mobile phones. To ensure that your website correctly appears in the browser for each device, you must use a responsive design that automatically changes the size and position of the content on your website. If you don't have a responsive design and a potential customer lands on your website with their smartphone, you will lose a potential sale if they have to scroll all over the place to navigate your content.
5. Placing Your Call To Action Elements
You can increase your conversions by placing prominent call to action elements on each page of your website. By simply telling your visitors to "click on a button" or "read more," you are provoking a response. This entices your audience to perform an action that will take them one step closer to completing a sale. When a call to is used at the end of an article or above the fold on the main page, it attracts attention and increases engagement.
Content marketing has a ton of benefits for your business and can really augment a decent marketing strategy. The practice can increase the online and real-world visibility of your brand, enable you to hone closer and deeper relationships with your customers, and increase customer loyalty among the customers that you already have under your belt. But along with written articles and words, what other kinds of content should your business be using?
To be truly effective, your content marketing needs to encompass social media, search engines, and PR. You should also be couching your content marketing within a larger inbound marketing campaign designed to create leads and boost your inbound traffic. Content strategy is another important facet to all of this. So, what more can you do?
Brand marketing plays a huge role in the success of your business. How much are you investing in it? If you don’t have the necessary funds to put toward your marketing efforts, that doesn’t mean you need to watch it fall to the wayside. Here are a few ways in which you can cut back in other areas of your business so you have more money to put towards marketing.
How many employees do you have? How many of those employees had previous work experience relevant to your industry? Depending on your business, that number could range from very few to almost all of them. If you have fewer skilled employees, you’ve probably spent a lot of time on training, but you’re not just spending time—you’re spending money.
Try to entice more experts to come work for you. Whether you’re looking for people with a Bachelors in Marketing or an MBA, that expertise will pay off. According to WGU, 98% of employers are satisfied with their employees with higher education (and therefore more expertise). Think about those superior results and what it will take for people like that to work for you. With the right perks, they’ll come, and once they’re there, your employees will be able to tackle more of the workload with fewer people.
Whether you are intrigued by modern technology or you've been fighting against it for years, now is the time to consider converting. Moving your company information and files to the cloud can save you money because you no longer need to allocate as much of your budget toward printing materials. You might even express surprise at the amount of money paper and ink cost you each month.
Evaluate the Break Room
The ability to provide your employees with snacks and drinks is great, and doing so can help boost the morale of your employees. If you’re struggling to allocate funds to important tasks like brand marketing, you might have to cut back on some of the snacks and treats or the frequency of them. Maybe instead of restocking the break room every week, you restock it twice a month. Make an announcement in advance so employees know things might get a little sparse towards the middle and end of the month.
While some traditional forms of advertising are still advisable, especially if the members of your target audience seek to consume material in this way, advertising online helps you to save money. For example, when you use free social media accounts, you are getting to advertise without spending a penny.
On top of that, you get to save even more money in the budget for printed items, and you don't have to worry about spending gas to drive around town to hang up flyers. You may also discover that advertising online takes less time than advertising in traditional methods. When you can save time, you also generally save money.
Develop Your Own Workshops and Seminars
The thought of bringing your team members to an outside location for a seminar or paying for everyone to attend a conference sounds like a way to build the skills of your employees. However, these methods of company improvement also cost significant sums of money. Instead of allocating funds toward travel, take the time to develop your own workshops and seminars.
You don't even have to rent out a space when your business building is large enough. With a creative mind, you can develop activities and instructional guides to bring the same information to your employees without spending all of that money. You may even ask employees to contribute ideas for the workshops.
When you are look at your budget and realize you don't have enough money to increase your brand marketing efforts, you may need to cut back in other areas. These decisions can be difficult to make, especially when they directly affect your employees. In the long term, however, these moves can be for the benefit of your team.
Crawford Designs will build a beautiful mobile-responsive, SEO-friendly website for your business. You provide the content and tell us your vision, and we work with you 1-on-1 to build you a successful new site.
All of our websites include:
For our very transparent and reasonable pricing, click here to view our rates.
The top 9 local search engine marketing tip series intends to help business owners to better reach a local demographic using websites and tools on the internet. If you do not have a well coded website, get one. Then use these local search engine optimization tips:
Tip #1: Create Quality Content With Plenty of Keywords
Search engines and customers use keywords and phrases to find your website. Make sure you use plenty of the words you would like to be found for in the text of your website. Website designers and owners should create plenty of pages that display all of the content necessary to tell a search engine to show you as an expert for your keywords.
Take the time to look at your competitors' websites to try to have at least as many pages as they do, if not more. One last important tip for local search is to take every opportunity to put your location in your text. This helps Google Local rankings, and effects the value of your Alexa ranking.
Tip#2: Update Content Often With Local Information
Take every opportunity to add new pages to your site which discuss local topics and events. Search engines will see that you are discussing local events with local keywords and move up your ranking as a local expert. Participate in local events and get your company name on charity and community websites with links back to your website. These types of links are invaluable and can only be acquired through hard work and giving back to your community.
Tip#3: Use Available Resources
One of the best tools we have found to help promote websites locally is the Google Business Tools Suite. This amazing resource center allows website designers and managers to analyze, manage, advertise, and invest in a website's online presence. Google has put most of their main business tools together in one location for easy use and understanding.
Check the relevant business tools out, read about them, and sign up for the ones that apply to you: Google Website Optimizer, Google AdWords, Google Apps, Google Webmaster Tools, Google Base, and Google Local Business Center.
Tip#4: Pay Per Click - Monitor Closely and Spend Wisely
If you can set up and optimize your pay per click campaign, it can be very successful and sometimes the results are amazing. That being said, we have witnessed many different cases where Pay-Per-Click advertising has burned through an entire budget in a couple of days. This can happen if you don't take the time to read through the entire process before making your selection. Use local words in your PPC campaign to save money by competing locally instead of globally. Remember, spending money to make money is necessary, but spend wisely.
Tip#5: Local Search Engines: Google Maps, Yahoo! Local, Bing Local
This is an obvious and easy way to increase your local exposure. We have all used search tools that have given results with a map and indicator dots on related business locations. If you would like to come up for these types of local searches, carefully submit for these specialized location based results. The search engines will often request some sort of verification through a call back or traditional mail and pin verification.
Take the time to list yourself on Yelp and register your business. Make sure that you spend the time on these postings that you would for any piece of marketing material for your business. Yelp! and websites like it, are sometimes the only chance to give an impression you will have with a customer. Be careful. These types of listings are double edged swords... If you don't maintain a high standard of service and quality, this will also be the location that customers will go to vent about their frustrations. These listings will also count as a quality inbound link for search and is useful to increase your search rankings.
Tip#7: Chamber of Commerce
You should become members with at least one local chamber of commerce. This is a great way to establish credibility and become a member of your local business community. Once you have this membership, make sure that your listing on the chamber website is a direct link to your website. Chambers of Commerce are considered to be local experts, and their link to you is a valuable one.
CitySearch is very similar to Yelp in that it is a popular local search engine. Make sure that you spend some quality time explaining yourself and your business. You should also make sure to check back and monitor your reviews often.
Tip#9: Press Release Services, Facebook, and Twitter
Social Media and local publicity can be very important for local results. Make sure to use locations and city information in your profile descriptions. Search engines will look at social media websites, and if you do a good job of mentioning local search words with your search engine keywords, you will begin to see additional results from search engines. Press releases can be the most important local marketing item a business can employ.
Implemented wisely, a well optimized press release or social media blast can bring you first-page visibility for your keywords very quickly. Sometimes you can take over more than one spot on the first page of Google.
When a new visitor arrives at your site, they aren't looking to learn all about you. They want to know how you can help them. Your site should be about the visitor and what they need, and how you can solve their pains and problems.
Take a look at your homepage and answer these questions…
Simplifying a homepage is not about leaving anything out, but focusing on THE most important thing you want people to do. Always think about what your audience would need most when they arrive. Keep it simple and offer a very clear message.
Wondering how your site stacks up online? Check out your site results with our FREE checkup here.
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