I Have a Website–Now What?
We hear this question all the time. Now that I have a website what do I do next?
Well, it all depends on your goals and objectives are for your business. Also, it will largely depend what the area competition looks like. While we concede that having a website should be a BIG part of your online presence, rarely, is having a website out there enough to effectively market your business.
So once your site is ready and on the web, here are a few tips about the next steps you will want to take. NOTE, I tried to break this list down from most important to least important that way you can take on bite size pieces one at a time.
Get Your Business on Google+ Local. If you haven’t already claimed your business on Google+ Local now is the time to do it. This service use to be called Google Places but recently Google integrated Places into it’s Google+ offering. If you had your business before on Google Places yourlisting should already have been moved over. If you need to claim or create your listing for the first time, go here.
Google+ Local is a must have for businesses whose customers and clients are locally based. For instance, when a user types in a search term to Google, certain terms are understood to have local intent. When Google displays those listings they also usually pair them with Google+ Local results. Having a listing is critical to appearing in those local searches.
Get Reviews for Your Business. After you have secured your Google+ Local listing and have completed all your information (make sure to complete your full profile including pictures and/or video) you will want to start promoting your listing for reviews. PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ENGINEER YOUR REVIEWS. Google’s search bots are sophisticated enough to be able to tell when you have engineered your own reviews and they definitely frown on reviews that are engineered. If Google catches you doing so, you risk losing your listing into the deep dark black hole of Google never to be heard of again. However, you can let people know they can review your business on Google+ Local. You can include a link on your digital media along with something like a QR code at your register or in your shop window to give customers quick access.
Make a Plan for Your Email Marketing. We have found for most small businesses one of the most effective marketing methods in terms of ROI is email marketing. For very little expense and time commitment, email marketing can be one of the most effective tools you can have in your marketing arsenal. We offer a email marketing platform called MightyMail which is available to all our clients. If you’re not yet a client, no worries, we can get you set up today. Just contact us at 800-975-2396.
As a rule, email marketing helps you continue to engage and keeps your business in fornt of your current customers and clients. Often times business owners focus too much on client acquisition and don’t spend enough time with the clients they already have, which is a HUGE MISTAKE! Far and away, marketing to your current customers is far more effective and cost efficient than client acquisition. We recommend that every small business plan for at least four email campaigns a year and if you have more time, you can bump that up to once a month.
Get On Social Media. Next thing you will want to do is to make sure you set up a few social media accounts. I have listed in terms of priority a number of social media channels. These are a few that we see most effective for small business. Of course, your business objectives may vary.
- LinkedIn Business Profile page
- Google+ for Your Business (see above).
Get Your Business Listed. Another thing, you should list your business on as many of the free listing directories out there as you can. These listings provide links back to your website that will not only drive traffic your business, but will also provide great SEO value as well!
The best approach is to start with a few and every so often add a few more, building all important inbound links back to your business website. Make sure when you join a listing you add as much information as possible including: business hours, description of your business, events, photos, and even videos.
Another listing that many businesses overlook is their local chamber listing. If you are part of a local chamber make sure that you have completed your profile there.
Here is a quick list of some directory services that are free to list on:
- Merchant Circle
- Yahoo Business Listings
- White Pages
- Super Pages
Of course, there are many more out there on the web, but this should help you get started.
Get Your Blog on! Finally, making regular updates to your site can help you hone your marketing message to your clients, give them reason to visit your site on a regular basis, and make Google love you! Blogging, although time consuming, can be a valuable part of your marketing mix, allowing you to provide regular updates to clientele. bMighty2 finds blogging to be indispensable to our overall marketing strategy and make a habit of creating ongoing content. If it’s right for your business you should do the same.
So here is a recap priority list:
- Google+ Local
- Promote reviews of your business.
- Send out quarterly email campaigns.
- Sign up for Facebook. (post at least 3 times a week.)
- Sign up for LinkedIn.
- Get listed on other free directories.
- Keep your site updated with new content with a blog.
- Create a YouTube Channel.