Whether you’re a small start-up business or an established company looking to increase your profits being visible must be one of your primary objectives if you want to achieve this goal.
Spreading the word about what you do, the service you provide and the products you sell can be done in a variety of ways and advertising in print still a popular option. This can be accomplished through:
If you have a shop on your local high street, you will continually be advertising your brand with your logo above the door and your wares in the front window. But how many of us have a traditional shop front to be visible to passers-by?
The fact is, the way we shop is changing with an increasing number of high street shops going out of business every day. In 2016 there were a reported 15 shop closures a day across the UK and online shopping is one of the factors contributing to this outcome. With the demise of the traditional physical shop and the increase in businesses going online, the way one advertises a business has transformed. Having an online website window can offer far more sophisticated ways to reach an endless, much broader, supply of customers potentially from around the world.
Print advertising not working for you? Then try something new…
Networking is a way of getting your company advertised by business owners and being open to doing the same for someone else’s business. If directly reaching out to like-minded businesses isn’t your thing, or if talking to friends, family and strangers fills you with dread, one option (to start you off gently) is to go to a conference. They are full of people open to being spoken to, having an exchange of ideas and maybe most important of all - exchanging contact details. Who knows, you could be talking to the next Bill Gates!
The Perfect Layout team recently attended the free Mums Enterprise Roadshow event in London and we were delighted to see how many people attended. There were numerous stands offering various services and franchises and talks given by industry experts every half an hour. It provided the perfect opportunity to have a chat with other aspiring individuals who were keen to follow their passion and soak up as much information as possible. Whilst the topics were of a preliminary advisory level, looking beyond this, it was a brilliant place to do some networking and get our name known! Read more about our experience here.
Online social networking involves working from social media platforms such as, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you have something interesting and unique to say about what you do, then use these methods to get your message out there.
As long as you stay within the terms and conditions of each social media platform, you will be able to attract new and repeat customers through what you say. You can also run advertising campaigns, gain followers and engage deeply with your customers and get to know them. They then ‘like’ or recommend what you’re offering, your credibility and reputation grows and so will your visibility and profits. The cost for using this method is mainly your time. You really do get out, what you put in, so make the effort (or hire someone to do it for you!) and start writing.
2 Google AdWords
If spending money on advertising is not a problem, running a Google AdWords campaign is another option to increasing your visibility. Also known as Pay-per-Click (PPC), it allows you to be seen above your competitors when a search is made using keywords related to your business. A big plus is that you can track the number of clicks people make on your advert, measure the cost and pay Google only made when a customer visits your website.
The cons of undertaking a Google AdWords campaign are that you need to really understand your business, your customers and, to a certain extent, how the internet works. For example, what words will people use when searching for your business? Choose those terms and then you can set your budget. If you have numerous search terms then your budget will need to be set accordingly. It may take a while to see a return on your investment (ROI), but over time, with some tweaking, this can be achieved.
3 List on local directories
If your business hasn’t done so already, claim your spot on online directories like Google My Business, Yahoo Local and Bing. There are many others, all free, including Thomson Local, Yell and Yelp. They all help increase your visibility when search engines like Google and Bing, crawl the internet looking for sites that your website is linked to. If your business is cited on these directories, the search engines will see this and view you as being more trustworthy and credible than someone who isn’t listed. The result – your rankings improve.
4 Blogging and Newsletters
Another way of getting your website more visible is to Blog or provide regular Newsletters for your customers. The more regularly you post, the greater your rate of online traffic will be. Depending on your type of business, this may be easier said than done. It’s important to gauge the type of things your audience may want to hear about against your ability to provide them with interesting ways to share your expertise. So, get creative and start writing about how the life of your business can add value to the life of your customers.
So, step out of your comfort zone and try one of these techniques. If you want your business to be more visible online you must develop ways of reaching your customers. If investing in social media platforms isn’t your thing, then take the time to master something else first. You’ll probably surprise yourself with your own creativity and ability at thinking outside the box. The more confident you become, the more skills you’ll attain and the more your business will benefit.
If you need help with that journey – you know where we are.
So what is a citation?
A citation, or being listed, is an online reference that contains information about a business, namely their name, address and phone number (NAP). This mention can be made on directories, like Thomson, Yell or 192, on websites like Netmums, or social media platforms like Facebook.
Google My Business is a core platform that all businesses should try and list their businesses on as it’s key to being seen on Google Maps. It also allows customers to connect with companies directly via a search, Maps or Google+.
Is it worth taking the time to cite your business on local directories?
Yes! It allows you to be found by a greater number of online customers and search engines like Google and Yahoo. The more directories your business is cited on, the better, as it will increase your chances to rank highly for local searches.
Online directories have replaced the paper versions of Yellow Pages and Thomson Local. Whilst they still exist in paper form, how many of us actually access them to find out where the Chinese restaurants are if visiting a new town? Or which shop on the high street sells your favourite perfume? Are you really going to carry a paper directory around, just in case you need it? Didn’t think so!
The fact is, online directories offer the facility for customers to find out much more about a business other than just the name, address and phone number. It has the added bonus of being accessible whilst on the move via your mobile phone, laptop or iPad.
Here is a list of the information that a business may include on a directory listing:
Listing a business on a directory is not difficult, but it can be time consuming. If you choose to give it a go yourself, make sure you do the job properly. If you don’t, it could affect your income, online rankings as well as your reputation.
Follow these tips to ensure that search engines, like Google, view you as a business that’s real and worth trusting and ultimately worth ranking:
Have you undertaken a review of where your business is cited lately?
Having a good website seems easy to do these days. There are many website builders on the market offering web packages at reasonable prices, but there’s a lot you need to know when it comes to ensuring that your website design has everything in place to make it work for you - especially if you want to generate more leads.
1 Content is King. Make sure that you explain what your business is about, ensuring that you use keywords that customers will use when searching for you. Google can then marry up your website with their search terms. If you don’t have the copywriting skills yourself, we can help you get keyword-rich content onto your web pages.
2 Use Call to Actions. If you want your customers to strike while the iron is hot make sure that you have Call to Actions on your page. This could be your phone number, contact forms or special offers to make them act at that moment.
3 Make sure your website is user-friendly. Make it easy for people to find their way around your site. Bad navigation could lose you a lot of business.
4 Use external directories to help boost your online presence. Is the platform that you are building on mobile friendly?
5 If your website isn’t responsive Google will penalise you and your website could suffer in organic rankings*.
These are 5 essential tips to keep in mind when you are looking to build your website. If you feel out-of-your-depth and would like some help, Perfect Layout Digital Marketing can offer you a free consultation and put together a digital strategy to get your business to where you want it to be. We can either look at hosting you on one of our monthly packages, or you can arrange ad-hoc work, such as re-writing your current website copy, based on our hourly fee.
If your website has already been built, but you feel like you are not getting enough new leads, it could be because you are missing out on other digital strategies that help boost your online presence; this is known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). If you don’t know how to do this, Perfect Layout can help you with elements such as keyword-rich content, setting up and activating Google My Business and Bing Places accounts, as well as listing you on other directories.
Perfect Layout Digital Marketing is a web design company in Romford, Essex. While most of our customers are local to us we do have clients in London and across Essex. Whether you need ad-hoc work to help improve your website design and online presence or you would like ongoing website support, we can help you.
Give the Perfect Layout web development team in Romford, Essex a call today on
01708 578 015.
*if you are unsure of any terms or jargon that has been used, go to our Glossary Page.