How to market your small business

If you are a business owner of a small business you may not have thousands of punds few every month to spend on marketing. You need to think very carefully about how best to invest your marketing budget to quickly see a decent return on your investment.

You should already know how important your customers are as not only might you rely on their repeat business but also their word of mouth reviews to gain you more customers. Word of mouth marketing is great, but it is not ideal to have to solely rely on it.  You need to explore other marketing avenues that work well for your industry and business. Costs can often be tight in a small business so each pound needs to be spent wisely. There are a few ways in which you can market your small business for little money or sometimes for free but you often do need to be willing to invest some of your time.

Social media is a great marketing platform for business of all sizes. It allows you to connect with people in your local area if your business is aimed locally or nationally. Setting up a profile or account on the social media sites is very easy but you may find that you struggle to manage them. If this is the case then you may wish to either go on a social media marketing training course or outsource the management to a third party.

Is email marketing still a good form of marketing?

Over the past few decades there have been so many different forms of marketing

Email marketing has been around for years and for some companies has worked really well. It is not always the cheaper form of marketing but is often more cost effective than sending out postal marketing letters, flyers or brochures and it is easily tracked. This allows you to see if it is working and what sort of revenue it is bringing in. With this information you can then make an informed decision as to whether to continue.

People often get bombarded with emails from companies trying to sell something and these emails often get deleted with no action taken, so it is fair for business owners and decision makers to worry about investing in this form of marketing. Companies such as Wowcher, Amazon and Tescos use email marketing as a huge part of their marketing strategy because it works for them. With many of us picking up emails on our mobile phones, email has become a quick way to get in touch with someone. In the current lick down situation, even more people have the time to read their emails and are more likely to shop online so now may be the best time to try it.

What is the basics of SEO?

As a web programmer you will hopefully have at least a basic knowledge of SEO. Its amazing how many websites are built with limited or no SEO in them.  SEO (search engine optimisation) is a technique that includes a number of different elements that if done correctly will help improve the ranking position of your website on the search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.

All web programmers should be able to do the basic elements of SEO. They site needs to be built in such a way that it is possible to add in the SEO elements. For example H1 (heading one tag) should be found once on every page and above the H2, H3 tags etc. This is basically a title for a page and should be highly relevant to the rest of the content on that particular page. Google often uses this title to find out what the page is about. Other SEO techniques is to include meta date unique for each page and having internal links to the correct pages.

If you find that a website you have designed and programmed is not performing well on the search engines, go back and double check that you have all the relevant SEO in place.  

How to expand your geographical reach online

If you are a business owner there may come a time when you want to start growing the business and reach out to other geographical locations. Many businesses that offer services, tend to start marketing to their local towns and villages and then over time branch out further to the bigger cities and possible even other countries. Depending on what business you are in will vary how easy or difficult this is to do.  There are many ways in which you can do this, and ideally you want to explore a few different marketing avenues to gain the best possible results. 

Firstly you should look at your website and find out currently which areas you perform well in. This can be done manually by searching on Google and Bing etc to see where you rank for your keywords or you may opt to buy some software that will do these searches for you. It may be that you only have one location mentioned on your site, in which case you will struggle to rank for other places. If this is the case then you need to create additional content talking about the products or services that you offer in other areas you wish to target.

Understanding website statistics and what to look out for

There are hundreds of website statistic tracking tools available for you to use to see how many people are visiting your site. The information you can extract from the software depends entirely on which one you use and often people opt to use two of three to get a better picture of what is really happening.

If you use Google Analytics, this can be very easy for someone who is not clued up on web marketing to understand. You can add the main information you wish to see on the front dashboard and even have the data emailed to you on a regular basis. But if you are in to marketing then there is a lot more in there that you can extract.

One thing to always look out for is a sudden unexplained peak in traffic. When you start to analyse the stats you may find that they have all come from one referring site and you have a very high bounce rate.. This is often spam bots which are essentially programs that are written that then send out spiders to crawl certain websites (they are not actually human visitors). This can serious effect the reliability of your data. You can set up filters to remove this information which I strongly advise you do so you can get a clear view of what is really happening in terms of traffic.