Online world has become so cluttered with content and information that sometimes it may seems very challenging to deal with everything at once. In this day and age every small business owner knows that it’s paramount to have a strong online presentation but when you are on a tight budget it’s hard to decide what to incorporate and what is just a waste of time.
Of course, there are a lot of useful advice and how-to posts that can help you, but it’s important to learn how to sift through all that and just take in what is important for your niche. On the bright side, when it comes to competing with big players it’s easier to do it online.
If you’re not sure on what to focus or you lack skilled personnel and money, here are 6 essential things you really need to concentrate on:
1. Tidy your website
It is old news that business website is single most important thing that represents you and that will determine how your customers perceive you. The best option is to hire a professional to do it for you, but that can be costly. If you choose the DIY option there are plenty of possibilities to choose from.
WordPress is most common one-stop shop for website hosting and creation, but it requires some coding knowledge so most non developers shy away from it. Luckily there are a lot of drag-and-drop website building tools and more are emerging every year. When deciding what website builder to use always keep the main focus of your business in mind.
Outline key features that you need to have on your website and find the template that serves you the best in terms of functionality and ease of use. Keep it simple and relevant, don’t let your website look like it’s from the last century.
2. Keep the design on your mind
It’s important to develop distinctive visual identity because it gives your customers something to remember you by. Your name, logo, font and colors are integral part of your brand and they also communicate with audience and help you differentiate from competition.
When it comes to website design – don’t clutter it in effort to provide more information. Make it clean and easy to navigate, without flashy banners and unnecessary features.
3. Optimize everything
SEO may seem like hard and time consuming process but it can be very rewarding. There are a number of tactics that you can employ to ensure better positioning and visibility. Research and choose your keywords wisely, find those that are relevant for your business but with medium or low competition.
Include your keywords in titles and page content but as naturally as possible so it doesn’t look repetitive.
If you don’t know where to start with your SEO strategy, always position yourself locally. Get your business listed on social media, local-based directories and listings, reach out to local paper and magazines.
4. Create smart content
Good SEO strategy goes hand in hand with content creation. Setting up a blog is what every internet marketing expert will recommend. Writing relevant and optimized content is of course best for your online visibility but if you aren’t a skillful author there are still some things you can do.
Rewrite and update existing content on your website so it is always up to date and fresh. You can also accept guest blog posts from writers in your industry, that way you can create a network of authors who can provide you with relevant content.
5. Be social (but don’t go overboard)
In a perfect world you would be able to have a successful profile on every social network there is, with many followers and fans, but reality is quite different. Every social channel requires different type of content and has different informal rules when it comes to communication, so if you don’t have manpower and money to handle everything, just handpick a few that suit your business best.
Try to think like a user and find out where your target audience is. Facebook and Twitter have been around for quite some time and it’s hard to take down the big players, so you may consider trying some of emerging social media sites where you can establish yourself from very beginning.
6. Make your website user-friendly
If you implement the above mentioned strategies, you should have a boost of traffic to your website, but, there are still some things you should keep in mind. Now that you have more visitors, you need to consider the importance of having a mobile friendly website in order to keep them.
If your site is not user-friendly both on desktop and mobile platforms it will be very hard for your visitors to navigate and it will load too slowly. In the end, you risk that all the hard work you’ve put so far will not pay off.
When adjusting your website for a mobile platform, keep in mind that your visitors are looking for quick information so your content should be concise and easy to read. That means you need to double think about the font, white background, the contrast of your color scheme etc.
Your navigation needs to be simple as well: limited number of menu items, “clean” organization of categories, add a search bar, etc.
Your website should load within few seconds so avoid large files, compress and resize images, reduce external links, etc.
Don’t forget your competition! Find out how many sites are linking to them and how, is there anything they are doing on and off-page and you aren’t, etc. Don’t be a “copycat”, but always keep an eye on what your competitors are doing.
Always keep in mind that you need to commit long-term, so don’t be frustrated if some days are worse than others. Do everything with a natural approach, don’t spam, think outside the box etc.
Also, don’t underestimate the traditional ways of marketing: send gift cards, magazines, small gifts, depending on the niche you are working in. This might not affect your online visibility directly, but is a great fit to your overall strategy, right?
This is a guest post by Dimitrije Beric is a passionate online marketer and a content writer, and a part of ucraft.me team. He is interested in digital marketing and always on the lookout for ways to improve content marketing and SEO skills.Contact us if you want to guest post here.