In October 2011 a friend of mine put up a website for his small business. Four months later he noticed he wasn’t getting much business from his website. He decided to reach out to me, knowing my background in internet marketing to get some advice on promoting his website. I took a look at how his website was performing and like he said, he was virtually invisible on the web. I knew he didn’t have a lot of time to market his new business since it was a small operation so I gave him 7 pieces of advice I knew wouldn’t take up more than a few hours a month.
After following my advice he more than doubled his search traffic in the first month and increased it by 30 times in October 2012 over October 2011. He didn’t do anything beyond the 7 tips I gave him, which are outlined below.
1. Write Great Blog Posts to showcase your expertise and personality. Blogging is by far one of the strongest tools you can use to create interest and visibility online. All you need is an idea and a little bit of time to keep your business blog updated. I recommend doing at least one blog post a week for the best results.
2. Participate on Social Networks to connected with your customers through joining discussions and sharing information and content. If I told you that you could get a message out to your customers at any time of the day at no cost would you do it? If you’re not active on social networks like Twitter and Facebook that’s exactly what you’re missing out on. Now keep in mind people don’t want to be constantly hear our sales pitch when they’re on these networks, so make sure your more personable. Now that’s not to say you can’t talk about your products and services from time to time.
3. Claim Your Local Listings to make sure it’s easy to find you no matter what device or mobile app they are using. If you don’t claim your listing and make sure they are up-to-date there’s a very good chance you’re missing out on business due to the difficulty or inaccuracy of your online business information. Check out getlisted.org a site that will help you make sure you control and optimize your online local listings like Google Places and Yelp.com.
4. Get Online Press to share timely information about a new product or service, a business expansion or recent event, an organizational milestone like an anniversary or award or the issuance of a tip sheet or expert opinion on a topic currently in the news. An online press releases are a great way to boost your online visibility and also can help get impressive content on the first page of Google when someone searches for your business.
5. Join discussions that relate to your business on forums, Q&A websites like Quora and blog comments. This is a great way to not only drive referral traffic to your website but also make connections with real people. I’ve gotten business straight from Q&A websites and new facebook and twitter fans from blog comments.
6. Create media people will want to share with others! Make a video, infographic, take cool photos, make a downloadable guide or ebook, publish an online quizz. The good news is you don’t need super expensive equipment to do this. Just a bit of creativity.
7. Make it all convert! Is your website ready to convert the visitors the above techniques will help produce?. What is the goal of your website? What do you want users to do once they get there? A common conversion is when someone fills out a form or makes a purchase. Is it easy to find your contact form or make a purchase? If not, make sure it’s as easy and simple as possible. Only ask of your customers what is really necessary.. The longer it takes to become a conversion the less likely you’ll get conversions.
I also highly recommend creating what I refer to as mini-conversions. These are other actions you should also monitor as successes. A mini-conversion is an action that isn’t a typical conversion but it is an action that will help lead to more profitable conversions. One example is if you wrote a really informative white paper that you’re offering for free. Each download would be considered a mini-conversion because it’s showing interest in your products/service/brand. Another mini-conversion might be when someone signs up for your email newsletter.
My friend used these 7 tips to create a strong inbound marketing strategy that worked and the best thing is… he isn’t paying a single penny for the traffic it’s generating. Just using a few hours a month he’s able to get in front of customers that want his products. This is truly the power of inbound marketing.
You too can start using these strategies above to grow your businesses visibility online. Just keep these three things in mind when following each tip…
- Have a clear goal in mind.
- Always put quality over quantity.
- Make strong connections with customers and other industry pros.