Years ago for websites the questions used to be about colours and size of pictures from clients. These days even big brawny lads ask me how they can get business online and fast. How can I be found for “Japanese Fighting Swords”
There is no fast. If there was I wouldn’t be typing posts about fast I would be sitting on the beach (possibly in Crosshaven but still a beach).
My online marketing conversation with people (TM) now goes something like this really and isn’t complicated but is a lot of hard work with a bit of technical knowledge. But the majority of it is hard work pumping away.
First I acknowledge most small businesses aren’t rolling in money. But the steps below still need you to develop skills or pay someone for their time.
There is no magic button. Really there isn’t. So here are the big building blocks to develop a platform for online success.
STAGE ONE CONTENT
- Create a website. Don’t worry about it being a design masterpiece.
- Make sure the home page is super super clear as to what you do. If a 12 year old can’t get it then your target customer won’t either.
- On the homepage focus on 2-3 things you do – even if you do 10 or 20 or 30. Refer the 12 year old tester if unclear on this.
- Create a top level page for every service that you do. Although word count isn’t prescriptive aim for 900-1200 words describing this.
- If you can’t write, hate writing then talk to us.
- If after writing the above page you feel that more detail on a service would help then create sub pages that explain things in more detail.
- Make sure that all of the above is unique, easy to read and clear. You may find it reads like a best seller but that is because you live in your business space.
- Repeat this process for all the services you wish to sell. Main page, sub pages for detail if needs.
- Feel free to write a longer page if needs.
Before the word count search engine police jump on me about word count let me explain here for normal people.
Most of your competition have not done this. They create a darling 4-5 page website with light content and left it. Google LOVES content. If you have unique well written and long content it will be rewarded.
Admittedly people tend to scan and not read (this 1997 report still holds true on how people read online but once you get visitors based on content then you can make the site more sticky with better design. I believe that content comes first, get the traffic then design it to be sticky and persuasive. My strategy is that every single page on your site should be a landing page like a mini business.
STAGE TWO – GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
I get business all the time from Google Maps – you know the maps that show up when you search for website design. Guess what they don’t even visit my website EVER. Yes I have built websites for people who have never even looked at my portfolio. How do I know this. They ring a number that isn’t on my website and is only on my maps listing
So add your business to Google My Business. It is free and takes under an hour. Do it today.
Then you can optimise and make it stand out from the pack and gather reviews over time.
Its free and not doing it means you lose a valuable property online for search. Lots of people don’t bother. Don’t be one of them.
STAGE THREE – SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media can get you some business but having a presence on as many platforms as you can spare does help.
If you hate Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I understand. But being on these platforms and more and spending an hour a week will over time show potential customers that you have a heartbeat and give you a chance to showcase what you do from time to time.
Please don’t be the gal who is constantly trying to sell as people will ignore you.
STAGE FOUR – MEASURE
Google Analytics shows your website traffic. It shows what pages are popular and how long people stay on them. And a LOT more besides.
But saying “I am doing OK online” doesn’t cut it. You need data and Google Analytics provides this. If you want to sell more Japanese Hunting Knives then buy now you have a decent page with 800-1000 about Japanese hunting knives and perhaps 6-8 more pages on the different types. Google Analytics will tell you if peiople are finding the page and also which of the knives are most popular. You can double down on the most popular and improve the content on those that aren’t moving.
Every customer I have ever met has said “I really want the higher end bigger spending customer”
Who knew” Of course you do. So if you want to sell the €3K hunting knife then make your website showcase this product better than everyone else at a minimum.
STAGE FIVE – BLOGGING
Blogging isn’t for guys with glasses and chunky jumpers but it isn’t. Simply put a blog is a fast and simple way to write content about your business, related services and the market in general.
Again it should be useful content for clients and can be shared on social media and can also help feed Google’s search engine. When done well and optimised it is a good idea. When done poorly it is a waste of time.
Blogging like any content takes time to do well with research and effort but can provide dividends.
All Done So – Yay!
So roll on the millions once the above is done. no but doing even this puts you ahead of so many of people in the competition. Most people don’t even start any of these items and hope that the colour of the logo and the sliders will generate the business.
Finally, it is OK to not be perfect. Try out writing, try out social, millions of people started like you and are quite competent and expert now. It just means allocating some website, marketing time per week to your business.
Think of this work as lead generation or sales generation or marketing and focus on it hard. Once you start and get better and better it will yield results.