How you manage and run your website, in particular how you market it to customers and potential customers, can mean the difference between the success and failure of your online operations.
There are numerous online marketing techniques but here are 3 ideas that anyone can implement as cost-effective marketing methods small and medium-sized businesses who want to expand and succeed online. They can drive sales, leads, and repeat visits to your site, and boost customer loyalty and peer-to-peer recommendations.
For companies with small or almost non-existent marketing budgets, these are 3 of the cheapest and most valuable marketing activities you can undertake.
Remarketing allows you to target customers and ‘track’ them to other sites they visit using cookies placed in their browsers when they come to your own site. You can identify and differentiate between users, creating lists which allow you to serve unique ads to other web pages they view.
It’s a brilliant tool which achieves a level of personalisation and relevancy almost unmatched by other forms of marketing available for the same outlay. People who have visited your site are more likely to recognise your ads and return to your site, especially if you customise the advertising, perhaps considering factors such as time of year, special offers and promotions and what’s popular.
And don’t worry, there doesn’t have to be overkill as you can place a cap on the number of ads you want people to see in any given week.
To many, SEO is the holy grail of marketing activities. Most searches for goods and services are carried out on Google, with other search engines a long way behind. These searches drive huge levels of traffic to websites of companies both big and small.
SEO is the process by which you can try and affect where in a search engine’s results your site appears. These results are often referred to as being ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ as they aren’t paid for and even the smallest of sites can appear in the coveted top slot. Obviously, the higher the ranking (as in most things in life, being number 1 is best!) and the frequency with which your site appears, then the greater the number of visitors you should get from search engines.
SEO considers what people are searching for in relation to your business; the actual search terms they may be using, especially certain keywords, your website’s content, the coding behind it, backlinks and inbound links from other sites, the frequency of content changing. All can affect the position of your site in search engine results.
Improving your ranking isn’t easy, but we believe SEO is truly the cheapest and best value form of online or offline marketing available. What better way to get people to your site, to transact or to contact you than by ensuring your site appears high, for free, in Google rankings!
However, it’s not a wholly precise science and it can take time to have an effect (typically at least 2 to 3 months from the start of an SEO campaign). If anyone tells you they can magically ensure your number one within weeks, don’t believe them. But do consider SEO as a priority.
SEO is an extremely powerful, and vital, marketing activity that all businesses should explore.
Most businesses, especially those online, live or die by reputation and peer review.
Just think of eBay and Amazon. If you’ve ever bought anything on it, you’ll no doubt have checked out the seller’s service history and read the comments made by other people who have bought items from them. A flurry of bad reviews and constant negative criticism over time, and business can plummet or even be destroyed.
However, if you choose not to show customer reviews for fear of this happening, it can also have a negative impact. People are now so used to peer-reviews that they simply won’t trust many businesses that don’t have some sort of customer review element on their site or relevant review site.
Apart from including review elements on your own site, such as testimonials, you should also look to those review sites associated with your area of businesses and work hard at creating a positive review profile on them.
Seek out the most suitable, such as Trip Advisor if you’re a B&B or local restaurant, or Rated People for tradesman, for example, and create a profile with links and contact details. Then get customers to rate you and review their experience of your goods and services, perhaps offering incentives for them to do so, such as discounts for future transactions, or referral bonuses.
Without successful marketing even the best business ideas will have limited success. Marketing is often a struggle for smaller businesses, juggling the many other competing areas that need a business owners’ attention. Please explore the 3 ideas we have introduced here and if you are interested in any online marketing assistance, get in touch and let us help you improve your online marketing.
Remember, high quality traffic equals high quality business.