Time is a small business owner’s most valuable asset, which means important things can be postponed indefinitely. Marketing is often one of the first things thrown in the too-hard basket but it doesn’t need to be time-consuming.
Online marketing is changing the way small businesses market to customers and there are several ways you can use the internet to drum up leads. The best part is, there are lots of things you can do that are free and don’t take a lot of time.
If you perform the following five tasks you will be in a good position to generate significant business through your website. In my business, Carpet Cleaning Sydney, I perform them myself – spending less than two hours per month.
1. Submit Your Site To Business Directories
This is essential and can be done over morning coffee. You only want to submit to high quality directories, the following three are a great start:
These directories receive a lot of traffic and you’ll get exposure directly from your listing. Also, Google likes brands and directories are one way to build your brand online.
2. Create a Google+ Profile
Creating a Google+ profile takes less than 10 minutes and updating is simple. I set aside a few minutes every other week to post something new, no need to go overboard.
This article outlines the benefits of Google+ so I won’t go into that too much here. Suffice to say that Google+ is becoming important in the world of SEO and those who use it to represent their business are being rewarded with high rankings.
You can link your website to your Google+ profile which makes your profile picture show up in the results. This helps get traffic and improve credibility.
Blogging keeps your website fresh. Visitors like it because they see that you’re active in the business and search engines like it because the website is always changing (which they love).
Blogging can take time so I recommend writing a bunch of posts at once. If you are using WordPress (or some other CMS) you can schedule the posts to publish automatically on specific dates. That way you can get an entire years worth of blogging done in one night.
4. Monitor Your Site Traffic
The best way to monitor your website traffic is through Google Analytics.
You need to know how people are finding you online and how they’re engaging with your site once they find it. This is valuable data because you can spot areas that might not be working. For example, you might find that lots of people view your contact page but don’t contact you. You can then look at that page and begin to analyse why customers might be turned off.
5. Track Your Phone Calls
Most small business owners don’t track their phone calls. This is crazy to me because it’s so easy to do and gives you valuable information about your customers.
The easiest way is to get a dedicated phone number. Once a month you receive a report on how many phone calls, where they came from and the day and time of the call. You can use this information in your marketing efforts. You may run daily promotions in quiet times or build up your presence in one particular suburb for example.
Online marketing can seem overwhelming at first but by following these five steps you will already be ahead of most of your competition. By dedicating some time to it every month you will begin to see results that have a positive impact on your business. I know, because these are some of the exact steps I follow and our success online has grown in leaps and bounds.