While it is estimated that 85% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses, many small business websites are used simply to avoid being invisible on the internet. Taking the time to do these 3 things can enhance your internet presence and make your website an integral part of marketing your small business without spending a dime.
1. Ask Readers to Sign Up
On every page, have a link where readers can sign up for periodic email, then send them on a consistent basis. You can start out using regular email, but MailChimp and Constant Contact are easy-to-use, inexpensive programs. Keep in mind that reader response is enhanced when content is engaging. By engaging, I mean giving readers something of value – either helpful information on their industry and business trends, or an offer on your products or services that is so great they can’t pass it up. However, you must follow the Golden Rule of email marketing, and that is to make it easy to opt-out of future email marketing campaigns. It’s bad for your business to annoy people with unwanted email.
2. Start a Blog
I know this can sound scary. However, this is an excellent way to enhance your website’s SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. The more mentions of your business on the internet, the higher your ranking on Google, Bing, and other search engines. Assign a page of your website to blogging, then write a post every now and then on a regular basis. Begin by providing meaningful content to your clientele. The content can be short and sweet. You don’t need to be a writer. For example, you can say you found an article of interest, then include a link to a website containing helpful information. Consistency and quality are key.
3. Use Social Media
Browse through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, etc. Choose one and start a business page with a brief description of what you do and what benefits your business can offer its clientele. Make connections, post something periodically until you have a comfort level, then consider adding a second social media outlet. Making periodic posts will help your business be first in the minds of your contacts, and it can help boost SEO.
I hope these suggestions are helpful to those of you ready to increase your internet presence and make your website really work for you. As always, I am happy to help small business employ these useful tools so if you have questions or need help, get in touch!
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