Every small business should be looking to carve out a presence online. Even for shops who are dependent on local customers, the internet is one of the best marketing tools there is. People everywhere are using their smartphones to shop for local goods and services online. Your website becomes an effective sales tool that’s operating 24/7. Prospects can visit it to find out more about your products, services, hours, and much more. Depending on your business needs, you can own your own site for as little as a few dollars a month. Here are five tips to making it work for you.
Have a Plan
Though they can be quite complex, webpages are essentially digital documents. They provide the means of expressing to your customers what kind of business you run. The first step is thinking about what kind of brand you’re creating. What best suits your business? Fun? Formal? Casual? Make sure your website conveys this. It should also incorporate visual elements like your logo, storefront, and so forth to make your company more recognizable. Once you decide upon your brand, stick with it consistently. Sudden or drastic changes will break that sense of familiarity that creates trust.
Incorporate Social Media
Millions of people are spending time on social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and so on. Find the one that best suits your business and personal style and create your own company profile. Link back to your company site and start engaging other people on social media. Also, include social media links on your company site so visitors can share you content with their own following. You should actually invite them to do so. As your social network grows, you’ve got brand advocates spreading your message for you.
Mobile devices are the future. In fact, Americans now spend 51 percent of their internet usage on mobile devices. However, these mobile devices with their smaller screens display web pages in a different way. To ensure your web pages are optimized for this growing audience, you should have either separate mobile-friendly pages, or create mobile-responsive pages that can detect what device is being used and adjust accordingly. This way your pages provide a good user experience no matter who visits them.
In both your website and social media content, never stop trying to get better results. This is commonly done through A/B testing, which is done by changing one element at a time, for instance a new image or new font, and comparing it to the previous version to see which one gets a better response. This will take some understanding of what your own website statistics are telling you, such as click-throughs or time-on-page. Most of the major social sites also offer analytic tools.
This is what keeps users coming back. If they see value in your content, that’s motivation to interact with your company. Make your online content is unique, fresh, and informative. Update it regularly so your followers don’t get bored or feel you’re neglecting them. The best content should also be interactive to create an immersive customer experience. This is easier than it sounds with web-based software like Prezi that allows you to create striking presentations visitors can follow and engage with. Businesses like Xyngular have used Prezi as a marketing tool, and so can you. Don’t make your website cluttered, but focus on building a user experience that your audience won’t forget.
Whether you’re just launching a company or looking to take your existing business to the next level, online marketing is generally the best and most affordable option. It takes some work, and there are no guarantees, but many others have found success applying these ideas.