As I talk to our small business customers and I prospect countless websites, I have noticed how little these businesses are doing to market and grow their businesses online.
The following is a quick list of easy things every small business can do across industries. I have left paid marketing off the list in order to focus on things every small business can do regardless of budget.
Build an SEO friendly website that fits your brand
Your website reflects your brand and your business. When someone comes to your site, they are making a first impression. You want your professionalism to show in the design, rich content, useful tools, and clear contact information. Don’t forget an email address in the contact information. I digress, but it is my pet peeve when I cannot contact a business via email. I usually only have time to work through my “to do” list at night.
Make sure your site is SEO friendly. Don’t hire a spammy SEO firm that will charge you a lot of money, promise first page placement, and just throw a bunch of links into your footer. The search engines may like you at first, but they are quick to scold when the SEO tactics are not to their liking. This is a post for another day.
There is nothing like free traffic! In the moving industry, there are thousands of searches for moving companies in every city a month. If you are not showing up in searches relevant to your business, you are missing out.
I recommend a couple of ways to get both of the above:
- Hire companies like ours, MoverWebsites.com and GolfWebsiteBuilder.com, that are focused on your industry that will build you a great SEO friendly site.
- If you already have a site you are happy with, work with a company like DIYSEO.com. They focus on SEO for small businesses at a reasonable price.
Register for the local directories
It is not only important for customer perception, but it also helps SEO when you are registered with all the local directories. Enter your business’s information into http://getlisted.org/. This will tell you where/how you are listed in the various directories/search engines.
Market yourself or your business
You are the expert in what you do. Sign up for www.HelpAReporter.com. You get an email twice a day asking for experts across every industry and expertise imaginable. This is a great way to get yourself published and to promote your business.
Social Media /Networking Sites
As a small business, you may have mixed result in your social media campaigns and marketing. It cannot hurt to create accounts on the sites below and to use them as appropriate to your business. Activity on these sites is also really good for SEO.
- Regional networking sites like BuiltInChicago.com
- Entrepreneurial Organizations on sites like Meetup
Don’t go overboard worrying about Tweeting or constantly updating Facebook. Just be yourself.
Participate in trade specific organizations
In each industry, there are professional organizations to get involved in at the local level. This is a great way to network with other professionals and share ideas on how they are doing business.