We’ve all seen the signs of a neglected online presence. It’s the link that leads to an error; the news section that hasn’t been updated in months or years; a business that’s invisible on Google Maps; or has the wrong contact information on Facebook. Ouch...
These are all digital marketing activities that shouldn't break the bank and take forever to handle, but somehow still under the radar. They only take a few hours to handle, and if issues are fixed and opportunities are taken, a small company can be miles ahead of competitors.
It's time to go back to basics with your small business online marketing. Here are 7 ideas you should consider implementing before the new year:
Idea 1: Setting up or updating your Google My Business profile
If your business has a physical presence, like a shop or showroom, you should spend 30 minutes this week to ensure it is listed on Google Maps, with updated and accurate information. You can do this by visiting Google My Business.
This will also ensure that your information pops up whenever someone searches for your brand name in Google Search.
Once done, make sure to keep information such as opening hours, accepted payment methods, contact details and location updated. Make sure you note down which Google account was used to create this profile, as well as its login details.
Idea 2: Taking some steps to improve online security
SSL Certificates are tokens that can be added to a website’s server to protect against spammers and authenticate visitors. Most hosts offer this service and your website developer can set it up in an hour for you. This is becoming particularly crucial for SEO as well: Google considers the presence of security tokens an important component to protect users privacy as they browse and rewards those websites that have it set up properly by prioritising them in search results.
Another aspect of online security is passwords. This has less of a direct impact in the short term. However, if you don’t keep track of which employees can access which services and online profiles, you might up in a situation down the line where ex-employees can still log into their accounts and update your business profiles as they see fit.
You also don’t want your accounts to leak to competitors, especially in sensitive business areas such as finance. Is the risk to your reputation worth it when all it takes is an account with Dashlane, LastPass or similar service?
Idea 3: Updating branding for social media and making it consistent
Your social media presence should reflect your core brand and be consistent across all social networks. Make sure that whoever is providing you with design and branding services has a clear guideline from which to work from.
If you have a seasonal campaign going on, update Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin’s Cover Photos with the same promotional banners, and replace them with a generic photo or video when it’s no longer relevant. It might be helpful to set a monthly reminder to do this
Idea 4: Making your website mobile friendly in design and improving how fast it loads
Creating a mobile-friendly website goes hand in hand with the amount of traffic you get. In today’s world, we use our mobile phone to look up any service we need. The most common issue that lowers the amounts of views you get is when your site takes a long time to load, which makes people give up and go look for another website, which means that you’re losing business. One of the methods that can be used to help in this is reducing the number of steps that a client needs to go through to get a service or to purchase something from your website.
Idea 5: Running an SEO Audit
Websites are complicated and over months or years can become slow and cluttered. An SEO Audit is like a Spring Cleaning, where you go into every category and page and check if there are any items that can be improved. This can include looking at how fast each page loads if links work if images are uploaded in the right size and resolution and if content follows Google’s guidelines for maximum readability.
It can also go a step further by identifying any old visuals and text that needs to be updated or even removed. An SEO audit can breathe new life into your business website, saving you from having to completely design and develop a new website.
Idea 6: Identify one area of your business which you could offer more efficiently online
Customers want you to offer your product or service through digital means.
Brainstorm with your team or business partners for ideas. You can go through common customer requests, questions and complaints. These could be anything from frequently asked questions, to selling online with an e-commerce website and mobile app, or even the question of maximising your customer loyalty. It might feel overwhelming but identifying one area of business through which you improve through digital means can give you a boost in focus for next year.
Idea 7: Partner up with a digital product agency
Sometimes, you need someone to discuss these ideas with. Not all small businesses have the time to learn to implement them. If so, get in touch for a consultation and our experts will be happy to help.