You can have the best products, the best services, and the best prices around, and none of it will help your business whatsoever if people don’t know it exists.
Now, can marketing be complex and time-consuming? Sure! But it isn’t always. Here are six simple things you can do to make it easier for prospective customers to find you:
1. List your business across online platforms
People most commonly find businesses through Google listings, typically in the results or on Google Maps. To define how Google perceives your company, go to Google My Business and provide all the relevant details, including address and phone number.
Showing up on Google Maps is good for local search in particular. If someone needs a business of your type in your specific area, you simply must be on the list they find. LinkedIn is less vital, but it’s still a valuable platform for making industry connections, so don’t overlook it.
Bear in mind that local listings and social media profiles in general will help build the authority and digital footprint of your website, and don’t hesitate when it comes to signing up.
2. Optimize your homepage
The quality of your website isn’t just a vital factor in determining how prominently you’ll appear in the search results when people look up terms relevant to your business; it also affects how likely people are to stick around if they visit it, and if they don’t stick around, they won’t really discover what you have to offer.
Now, making big changes to a website is neither simple nor easy… but what if you focus only on the homepage? It isn’t that complicated to put a bit of time into polishing the text, visuals, and general user experience. You only get one chance to make a first impression when a prospective customer lands on your website, after all — you need to take advantage of it.
If you don’t know what to aim for, you can get a decent idea of how to make a welcoming homepage on a limited budget by taking a look at some starter stores for sale. Consider how they use imagery, contrast and structures. What lessons can you apply to your website?
3. Give a presentation
You run a business, which means you have expertise in your field; why not share it with people by giving a presentation of some kind? It could be a speech, or a workshop, or something else entirely. It’s up to you.
We all like finding excuses to get away from the office, so you should be able to find people from your industry to attend. There will then be an excellent chance that they’ll mention you online, getting you attention and hopefully a link or two.
Oh, and if you feel confident that you can get away with charging a small fee, then you can do so — but free is always an easier sell.
4. Use social media trends
Keep an eye on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and any other platforms your prospective customers might use (if you don’t have accounts for your business, create them!). When you see a trend or topic that could be relevant to your company, post about it.
Take #TBT (or Throwback Thursday) as a common example. Got a picture from the opening of your business? Post it on Twitter on a Thursday with a quick recap of what your business does and how it began, tagging it with #TBT and some industry tags.
Just make sure you adopt the right tone; it’s critical that you don’t come across as pandering. You want to be perceived as helpful, warm, and knowledgeable, but not desperate.
5. Try cross-promotion
Is there a business in your community that is very different from yours but has an audience who might be interested in what you have to offer? You might be able to take advantage of that overlap through cross-promotion.
Reach out to that business, let them know what you do, and see if they’d like to try a mutually-beneficial agreement where they introduce you to their customers and you introduce them to yours.
You could arrange it as a sponsorship, schedule a joint event, or simply give them business cards or leaflets to display. Regardless of the exact approach, it’s a great way to pick up a lot of cost-effective exposure.
6. Get more reviews
Reviews are incredibly useful. Putting product reviews on a website makes it seem more trustworthy to users and search engines alike, having business reviews on Google grants an air of legitimacy, and getting relevant bloggers to talk about you introduces you to new audiences.
You can encourage blogger reviews by offering free product samples, free service trials, free consultations, free educational resources… really, just find something you can offer for free that people might talk about.
And make sure that you ask for reviews from your customers as part of your regular process. Gather up all the feedback over time, and get some glowing testimonials working for you.
There you go — six simple tricks you can use to make your business more discoverable. Get more attention and you’ll win more business. Good luck!
Victoria Greene is an ecommerce marketing expert and freelance writer who likes to help great businesses get noticed. You can read more of her work on her blog Victoria Ecommerce.