What Small Business Owners Are Missing Out On By Not Having a Website

Small business owners seeking to make their business more profitable or stable need not overlook the benefits of creating a website. Websites for small businesses offer amazing new opportunities that are otherwise unavailable. We have put together a list of what you are missing out on my not having a website for your small business.

Gaining credibility on a larger scale – Small business owners may have established their credibility with their regular customers or within a radius of a few miles. If they wish to build more credibility and share their expertise with more people than ever before, establishing a website where they can provide this information through articles, blogs, and videos is a great way to do this.

Molding Identity – Maintaining a website is a great way for a business to effectively mold how they would like to be perceived by patrons and others in the industry. It allows a company to have more control over the information that is provided on them and to have a better look into what people are saying about them.

Housing their own community – Unless they’re a coffee shop, providing a place where customers can get together and offer advice and share ideas can be pretty tough to accomplish. Having a website for a business can provide a place for patrons to do this easily by offering chat space, instant messengers, and comment room for company blogs and articles. This proves to be important because it gets people discussing a company’s products and services.

Generating more leads – It can be difficult to generate leads as it is, but the web can make it a lot easier. When a business establishes a website, they then establish an incredibly effective way to build leads. There are some great ways to do this: developing a social media following, gaining blog followers, providing forms on the website to collect submitted information, and building successful email marketing campaigns.

Establishing more professional contacts – Networking with others in the industry is crucial to a company’s success. The ability to share information and ideas with other professionals and build a relationship with them is key to building a successful company. When a company has a website they are able to create more contacts quickly and easily by letting everyone know who they are.

Interaction with more customers – A company positively interacting with their customer is imperative to maintaining and gaining loyal patrons. Customers have the right and a want to feel connected on a personal level to the company they are spending their money with. Having a website where they can interact with a company easily and directly communicate with them lays the ground work for a great business. Tying social media accounts in with a website is suggested if a company wants to optimize their relationship with their customers. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have provided superb platforms for companies to take advantage of.

Small Business Marketing – The Facts

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or Digital Marketing is one of the most important marketing projects that any business can undertake. Whether they want to establish a strong online presence, increase brand awareness, increase traffic to their website or retail stores or increase qualified leads, SEO can help with all aspects. The level of competition online in any industry is ever increasing so a solid SEO strategy can be the difference between success and failure.

For small businesses, the decision on how to approach SEO is even more pivotal as most small businesses cannot afford to compete with the marketing budgets the big brands in their respective industries will have at their disposal. However, this is where SEO steps in to help level the playing field. The search engines are in a sense a virtual high street, serving up the most relevant results in various ways for the user to access the most applicable content to meet their needs. Not so surprisingly, the majority of users don’t venture any further than the first page of results making it obvious that aiming to become part of the first page of the results for relevant keywords is the key to driving traffic and leads to your site.

All too often small businesses approach search marketing using more traditional although somewhat potentially ineffective methods such as Pay per Click (PPC). Although the initial attraction to PPC is clear as it provides a relatively easy way to gain a 1st page presence as well as an easy way to track; measure and analyse your campaigns, it is a technique that, if not conducted correctly, can result in high costs and a low return on investment (ROI). In addition to this, most small businesses don’t have A) A budget to sustain consistent results or compete on high priced keywords and most importantly B) the number or quality of staff to manage a PPC campaign that will have the ability to outperform competing PPC campaigns. Not to say PPC doesn’t have its place but it has to be handled with so much more time and care than most people are aware of.

So, if you own or are part of the marketing team for a small to medium sized business, you’ve realised that SEO is the way to go, but where do you begin? The world of SEO is so vast from on page optimisation and social media strategies to link building and article creation and submission, it is understandable that small businesses look at it as a daunting and time intensive task and many tend to either attempt it with limited knowledge half heartedly, if at all, which is a frightening thought. A lot of small businesses tend to start by using people with limited knowledge of the relevant techniques, such as web designers (These people are not usually from marketing backgrounds and will not have the focus a true search engine marketing agency can provide).

Worse still, they look to employ poor quality Search Engine Marketing (SEM) agencies who use limited optimisation techniques and pride themselves on 1st page positions rather than increased traffic or leads. Unfortunately, this usually dupes customers into thinking more 1st page positions must mean more traffic or leads. However, it isn’t as simple as that as these companies will generally look for low competition, less relevant and low volume keywords and phrases meaning although they may have provided a first page position for a term, if it is a term that is only searched 25 times per month, you may get an extra 5-10 visitors per month depending on your 1st page position….it that worth paying for, unfortunately, I would have to say no.

The solution should therefore be clear by now; find a Search Engine Marketing agency that covers SEO from all angles and will provide a bespoke service depending on your priorities as a business, from a team that is there to work with you long term and can provide SEO improvements from start to finish on high traffic, high competition keywords and phrases. That way, you are investing in the whole SEO Pie rather than just a slice. This can come at much less of a cost than you would expect and unknown to most it is highly measurable with a potentially extremely effective ROI.

Small Business Management Success

It is one thing to get a small business up and running it is another thing to successfully manage it. You will find that this is an ongoing challenge. The business must be cared for so it becomes profitable. There are typically regulations and laws governing how you run the business.

It is your responsibility as management to make the decisions that dictate what is done on a daily basis, some of them are more important than others. Below you will find information to assist you in running your business in an organized manner, or get out of it if you need to do something else.

Lead Your Company

You must be able to lead your company this takes certain personality traits. The true leader is decisive, competitive and able to get through the obstacles to reach success. A person that leads should also be able to handle pressure and the stress it brings without falling apart. As a leader, you have to be energetic and enthusiastic to spur others on. It also takes self-discipline to lead.

Making Decisions

Making decisions is such a big part of managing a company. Define the type of decision that needs to be made, make sure it is yours to make too. Brainstorm some ideas to help you make it and what the implications could be for any of the choices you come up with. Visualize the results that will happen because of the decision. Discount the choices that will not bring about the desired results.

Managing Employees

One of the most important tools you have to manage your employees is the employee handbook. This sets forth the rules, regulations and expectations the company has for the employees. It should be written in easy-to-understand language. This should include as much as possible about the policies of the company. When the employees know clearly what is expected of them they can better perform their jobs.

Even overtime pay and other pay issues should be included in the handbook. Work schedules as far as the start and end of the workday. What conduct the company expects from the employees should be included too.

Making Your Business Grow

Just because you have customers coming to you does not mean your business is growing. There is more to it than just this. You have to always be looking forward to make sure new customers keep coming to you and that you can compete successfully in not only today’s marketplace but tomorrow’s too.

There is so much technology that can be used to help your business grow. With all the social-media websites, email campaigns and other computer related advertising, you really have to stay up to date with all of it.

This is just part of what it takes to manage a small business. Are you up for all the duties that will be yours? Draw on the information here to analyze what areas you need to work on. Learn how to manage your company right to the top!

The Real Secrets to Smart Small Business Advertising

Small business advertising seems to change in some important way almost every week. As the economy remains tight, making smart choices about advertising becomes increasingly important. The rate of technological change, and the increasing affordability of electronic devices, continually alters the advertising landscape.

Smart small business advertising must weigh in the balance a number of considerations before locking into a plan. These include:

  • The struggle of print media to remain viable
  • The continuing popularity and importance of social media
  • The proliferation of new communication devices
  • The equally rapid proliferation of new ways of communicating with these devices
  • The growing importance of video
  • The shift from such traditional standards as the Yellow Pages to online search

These are only a few of the changes businesses must learn to deal with when planning marketing and sales efforts. At the very least, smart small business advertising today must include far more than traditional advertising, even if the ads are moved from print to electronic media.

What is Smart for Small Businesses Advertising Today?

In the digital age, smart small businesses’ advertising must invest the time in understanding the advertising and marketing channels available today. Even more important, they must learn what makes these new channels different, how they are used differently, and which channels are most likely to reach their target customers. Then they must make choices and decisions about how to use each channel most effectively and most cost-efficiently to meet their goals. These are the critical tasks in smart advertising.

The flat space ads used in newspapers and magazines will attract only limited attention online unless it is very special. Today’s ads need to move and speak and interact with potential customers. Even a banner ad on a website really needs to do more than just sit there. Small business advertising has changed in important and far-reaching ways.

Smart small business advertising must also note that a website must also be more than a three or four page brochure. Every page must be designed and written to grab the attention of the visitor in as little as 1.5 seconds, or that visitor is gone. Every page has a job to do. Moving people from page to page until they are asked to make a decision is what converts a visitor into a sales lead.

If you operate a brick-and-mortar store, you have the opportunity to take advantage of some very exciting small business advertising tactics to get people into your store, but you must figure out not only the right message and the right offer, but also the right medium, the right device and the platform used by that device. You need to be ready to use location-based email and on-the-spot coupons and special offers delivered by text message when someone is outside your store or in a place where your beverage is served.

What is smart for small business advertising today is discovering the right mix of lead generation tactics, the right amount of advertising, the right focus on providing information and benefits your target market wants, and keeping everything within the budget. When you find the people who can do each of those things for you will be ready to construct a viable advertising campaign.