5 Steps to Online Success for Small Businesses

1. Get your story straight

Depending on your business this may be all set for you or it may need work. Can you tell someone exactly what you offer in one or two sentences? If you have to think about it and you have a hard time coming up with a clear answer you may need to figure this out. Your offer must be clear so your message can be clear. The message in your advertising must be clear or your ads won’t work well.

What are the exact products or services you offer? What are the exact prices for each of them? Figure this out. Be clear about it. Stick to it.

2. Get your Website in Order

Your website is the foundation of your online presence. Everything online should revolve around and be connected to your website. You need a website if you’re going to use online advertising because most of online advertising involves driving people to your website by clicking on your ads.

Your website should be clear and concise. It should be easy to read. It should be easy for people to find what they are looking for. It should be categorized in the same way your business is categorized. Products and services included. It should have your contact information on every page and of course it should be mobile friendly.

Some tips for showing up better in search (when people are searching for products or services that you offer, but don’t know about your specific business) include the following:

  • Use descriptive and unique Page Titles on each website page
  • Your home page should talk about what your business does for your customers, but not be bragging about the business
  • Use links between pages of your website and keep links that point to outside websites to a minimum
  • Use pictures with “alt” tags that describe each picture
  • Link to your website from other places, especially from your Google Business directory
  • Make use of YouTube videos and embed them into your website

3. Figure out where your customers are

If your customers are often looking for your products or services on Google you may benefit from using Google Adwords. This is a pay per click system that puts your ad at the top (or bottom) of Google search results for search phrases of your choice. Adwords is complex but can be the right answer for some businesses. It also includes a separate section called the “Display Network”. This allows you to put image ads on millions of other websites. If your website is optimized for search then it will also show up in search results as a natural search listing.

Are your customers on social media? If so, find out which platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or some others? You can reach your customers if you place ads in front of them, wherever they are. Facebook may be the easiest platform to get started with. You need a Facebook business page first. Then you’ll set up your ads account and you can quickly begin running ads. Facebook ads can be shown to people based on location, age, gender, demographics, and behaviors.

4. Make a plan and budget

Making a plan and budget is a wise thing to do. Many probably don’t. It’s good to do because it allows you to get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t work. Plan what you’ll do with your website and advertising, then decide on what you’ll spend and how long you’ll run ads. You can spend too little with an ad that would otherwise prove to work well, or spend too much on an ad the doesn’t work well. So you need to look at your results and try to track things.

5. Implement and carry through

It’s great to have ideas and plans but until you actually start doing what you’ve planned you won’t really be getting anywhere. If you don’t know how to fix your website, update your Google business listing, or use the Facebook or Google advertising systems, everything you need to know is available online for free. But it takes time to learn these things so you can hire out what you can’t do yourself.

For more information about Facebook advertising and Google advertising as well as Website Design services see my website at www.databae.com.

Feel free to comment or ask a question below!

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