You're a localized small business and you've got a great website. Now what? Your next step is marketing.
There are a number of tools at your disposal to help your audience find you online.
LOCAL DIRECTORY LISTING
A great first-step is to ensure your website is listed in local directories. While your website will have your business name, hours of operation, phone number and address, it is important that online directories have the very same information as well. That way, search engines know to connect the information they have with your website, ensuring customers will find your business when they search for you.
It can be especially problematic if your business has done any of the following:
- Changed Names
- Moved Locations
- is Located at a Spot with Multiple Businesses
If any of the above has occurred with your business, submitting to a local directory is imperative so you can set the search engines straight, so to speak.
UNIQUE WELCOME PAGES
Everybody expects your business card to have your web address on it. While we certainly recommend that you include the URL, why not include something unique? Maybe www.mywebsite.com/welcome with a nice welcome message to those who type in the address?
Differentiating your business is important. Helping your audience to Know, Like and Trust you (something we've preached a lot of) is the goal. A unique welcome page with a special offer, a special message or any other unique idea will help your potential customers remember you!
Simply put, submitting your website to the Search Engines will help with where you come up in search results. Submission will also ensure the search engines will regularly search your website for recent updates. This step should not be skipped.
AROUND TOWN MARKETING
Your small business may serve a tiny geographic area, but that doesn't mean you can't have a little fun with your marketing. Window clings are a popular way to remind customers of your website and/or logo. A simple car wrap (they even wrap just parts and pieces of a car) can make a huge visual-imact marketing wise. Remember: any sign, flyer or handout given to your customers and potential customers is a representation of your business. In your off-line marketing, don't do the following:
- Change your logo around (we know it's tempting)
- Use a huge variety of colors in each venue
- Print documents in an unprofessional manner (crooked copies, wrinkled flyers, etc)
- Change your marketing message frequently
With Desktop Publishing, there is an allure to creating and printing documents yourself. Just be sure you're not in over your head. If you end up with shoddy documents, your public won't appreciate it. Customers like to be wowed. Begin with your marketing
Happy Marketing! -