Regardless of business type, sooner or later you are going to have to dip your toes into the marketing water. This can mean lots of different things like TV advertisements, radio and billboard ads. There is almost no end to the ways that you could market your business, but let’s be honest most of them are pretty rubbish. Why would you want to wear a sandwich board on the corner of the street? The point is that not all marketing efforts are going to succeed.
There is one, however, that consistently shows results. Online marketing and It isn’t just the future; it’s the present. If you aren’t engaging with your customers online in someway, there is every chance that you will lose them.
By the far, the best way to market online is via your website. Before you run off to find a designer, there are other considerations first.
Choose a domain name
If your business name hasn’t been taking by someone else, then that is your best option. The next thing to do is to register it, and also grab some web space real estate too. Any web hosting company can take care of both for you. Have a shop around, but they are all much of a muchness. Just avoid the ones that claim completely free hosting, because there is usually something attached to claims like that.
Build your website
You can build a website yourself, but you are much better off leaving it to professional designers. Who you go to is going to be decided by your type of business, since most professional designers specialize.
If the website you need is primarily going to be data driven, then a quick Google search for ‘professional website design’ will be very revealing. If any transactions are to be made, in any way, then you would need to look at eCommerce website design. Some sites need to be purely promotional, so slick one-page website design is possibly more suited for that kind of need.
Choosing the purpose of your website is an important step, and is worth thinking about it. Again, it depends on your business and whether or not you want to take money through your website.
Since the whole point is to market your business, you are going to need to start attracting people to your website. There are lots of ways that this can be achieved. The first thing is to make sure that your URL (your website street address) is on all of your other marketing material (including your physical materials). Let’s hope you chose a suitable name, then.
Another important factor in marketing your website is SEO. SEO is a series of techniques focused on getting your website found and ranked by search engines. When this happens, optimally, anyone searching for services that you just happen to provide will see a link to your website in the search results.
One of the main SEO techniques is writing content that people want to read, and, therefore, the search engine to provide.
Each written piece can be shared with social networks, other websites and by your visitors recommending you. Marketing this way is very effective, which is why there are so many company blogs.
The future of your business is in your hands, so go forth and market it.
Social media jigsaw picture: Flickr
Keyword cloud image rights: Flickr