1. Build and maintain a website
Six or seven years ago, newspapers might have been the number-one place where you placed your advertisements, but now being online is likely to generate the majority of the new enquiries you receive.
When you create your website, think about the user-experience. Your website should reflect your business, run seamlessly and provide more value than a customer expects.
Ask yourself, how will people use the site, on what device and in what environment? What are their expectations? It’s best to make your website mobile-friendly so that it can be easily accessed by users searching for you on different devices.
2. Create Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts
Having a website is very important, but social media is a close second when it comes to generating interest in your product or service. The various platforms out there today are a great way of keeping existing customers interested and up to date, as well as attracting new business.
Use social media as a market research tool to get feedback about your customer service or products, or to respond to queries and foster relationships with people who have bought from you.
3. Use SEO to help your business be found online
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an important step towards getting more traffic and raising your result rankings. Often it can be the difference between a potential customer finding your business or taking their money to a competitor.
One way to optimise your site for Google is to ensure your content can be read by the search engine’s crawlers, while also giving human users an easy-to-navigate and digest site – when you achieve both, your traffic will drastically improve.
Research what keywords are most commonly searched for in your industry and use them where relevant across your web pages, but remember that maintaining a good reading experience is key to securing repeat visitors.
4. Reach your audience via online and print directories
Don’t limit yourself to straight advertising – it’s also worth considering print and online directories, brochures, magnets, business cards and promotional clothing, as well as hosting events, when it comes to increasing your brand’s exposure. Develop a strategy around what you want to achieve so you can work out what you can afford to spend.
Business directories are a great form of targeted advertising. Particularly online directory listings that have now cemented themselves as an easy and convenient way for people to search for the products and services they need. Attracting local customers online is one of the determining factors of success and can help your listing appear higher in Google’s search results, in turn increasing the chance of customers finding your business.
Typically if someone is using a business directory they already have a certain service in mind and will ideally stumble across your ad. You can get a White Pages digital or print listing, or a Yellow Pages digital or print listing so you’re found wherever a customer is looking.