small business marketing ideas

Whether your marketing objectives for 2017 are to increase sales, build brand awareness or grow awareness for your cause, make sure your small business makes informed marketing decisions in 2017.

1. Go Beyond SEO for Lead Generation and Website Traffic

Although we are huge fans of search engine optimization. Too many small businesses have come to believe that SEO is the end-all-be-all of online marketing. But just like most things in life, it is important to diversify your marketing strategy. You may choose to allocate a significant chunk of your marketing budget to SEO, but if that is your only strategy, you may be giving your competitors an advantage.

Here are a few tips on getting more website traffic and generating more leads:
  • Give online advertising a try. If you haven’t yet, you should consider investing money into online advertising for your small business. Although many business owners are hesitant on this strategy, it’s critical to remember that like all marketing efforts, online advertising should be assessed as a function of its ROI (Return on Investment).
  • Back to the basics? Believe it or not their used to be life before the internet? Many business owners forget about offline marketing. There are many strategies for promoting your business in the “real world”. This will help you connect with your clients on a personal level which is often missing these days.
  • We will continue to advise our clients to invest in their website’s SEO by:
  • Developing strategic and relevant content
  • Re-evaluating existing SEO Strategies to account for Google (and other search engines) algorithm changes
  • Avoiding SEO scams

2. User Experience (UX) is MOST important

With online competition being abundantly present, small businesses must focus on providing the best user experience. Or face the risk of online users going to the competition. Rather than user experience being just an afterthought, web designers and web developers ought to give some thought to the overall design, navigation and usability.

Tips on improving user experience:
  • Test and Monitoring is an integral part of maximizing the user experience and making sure things continuously work problem free as well as efficiently.
  • Responsive web design is the ONLY way to go. Usability is the key pillar of user experience. Your website must be easy to view, read and navigate on EVERY device. Customers are now using a variety of devices ranging from giant desktop monitors, to laptops, tablets and mobile phones.
  • Track And Analyze. Having Google Analytics on your site does you no good if you’re not using all of that info to your advantage. Are the users seeing the content you wish for them to see? Are they getting to the important information within your website? The only way to know is to track AND ANALYZE.
  • Data entry can be overwhelming. Although, you want as much personal information as possible about every visitor. The number of visitors who will fill out a form is directly related to the amount of information for which you ask on these forms. It’s better to start small and then follow up with clients.

3. Website DESIGN that captures & converts

It is imperative that your website is packed with relevant content designed for both your websites visitors and search engines. But what’s the use of having great content with poor design? Having the right content will help you drive more traffic to your website, but that is not the only thing that counts. Once you get traffic to your website you need to convert visitors into a leads. The conversion process is driven by the integration of content with captivating web design and “calls to action”.

A few tips on integrating content with web design:
  • It’s all about intent. Having great content and web design begins at the planning stage and continues through the design and development stages. It’s important that your web design company plans this out intentionally as well as making sure there is enough real estate for each piece of content on your website. If not thought out properly, you’ll continue to “patch” things in here and there and the results will reflect to your potential clients.
  • “Calls to Action” (CTA) are imperative. A good call to action can be the difference between turning a visitor into a lead and losing them. Good calls to action remove and reduce risk, are simple and concise, and encourage immediate action.

4. Make a Conscious Effort to Receive Online Reviews

If you are under the impression that online reviews don’t count? Think again! Although it may seem hard to believe, 88% of consumers trust online reviews at much as they do a personal recommendation. Check out these facts!:

  • 72% of consumers trust a local business more based on positive online reviews
  • 88% of consumers read online reviews to determine the quality of a local business

Many small businesses ignore the online review process, potentially out of fear of receiving bad reviews. It is vital to acknowledge that potential clients will read online reviews, and those online reviews will influence their decision. I hope we have convinced you that acquiring online reviews is very important.

Tips on getting online reviews:
  • Use multiple review sites. These days there is a review site for every type of business or service. Identify the site that is most relevant to your business, (Yelp, Facebook, Linkedin) service, (TripAdvisor, FourSquare, Angie’s List) or Product (Google, etc.)
  • Ask! Ask! ASK! Believe The number one way to get more online reviews is to simply ask your current customers. When you get a satisfied in person customer, just mention how much you’d appreciate an online review, and direct them to the website of yours or their choice.
  • Make it simple. Leaving online reviews should be as easy as possible. Customers who have had a good experience are less likely to go out of their way to leave a review than those who have had a bad experience. You need to do as much of the work for them as possible and provide direct links. Also the more review sites you are on the more likely you’ll be on one in which they frequent.

5. Don’t Forget ROI (Return On Investment)

ROI is the measure of your returns or profits that is earned from the investment, also known as “what did I get for my money?” Calculating ROI can be tricky, because there are many forms of “returns” (sales, increased brand awareness, etc.) Small Business owners who are looking to get the most from their marketing dollars & efforts must identify appropriate metrics to make sure their marketing efforts are up to their satisfaction.

Tips on improving your marketing ROI:
  • Predict & anticipate, don’t look in the rearview. Make a point of measuring user behavior as it gives you insight into present and previous customer behavior. It is critical that you do not rely 100% on what worked in the past and invest energy into anticipating what may change with the times. Check out the latest trends online, but also interview clients to learn valuable information about whats going on in your market.
  • Step back, and view the entire frame. Its often easy to focus marketing efforts on one channel and forget that customers frequently transition between platforms before making buying decisions. Its important to keep in mind that all marketing elements (website, social media and online reviews) potentially impact your ability for customer acquisition.
  • Calculating your ROI, don’t be fooled. Spending $100 on Google Adwords may net a $1000 profit, but that doesn’t mean that spending $200 will yield $2000? Smart marketers understand variables, marketing ROI does not follow a linear pattern. Each effort must be analyzed and revisited as changes are implemented to assure maximum performance.
  • Don’t forget the BRAND. Assign a value to brand equity when measuring the return of each investment in the complete marketing strategy. It easy to forget this and become too focused on hard metrics.

Get your small business marketing right for 2017.

Don’t start 2017 without improving your marketing strategy. Any questions about the 5 small business marketing ideas listed above, or are currently looking to design or redesign your website, and need help from a Hartford, Connecticut creative marketing and web design company, please contact us.

Get the conversation started. Comment Below!

Are you planning on utilizing any of these strategies? What marketing strategies will you be using to promote your small business?


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