10 Steps to Help get More Business in 2022
By Christine B. Whittemore
Owners of small and medium-sized enterprises often find at some point that their tried and true marketing tools aren’t as effective as they used to be.
So, how do they get more business?
First and foremost, it’s essential that every business have an online presence in the digital age. This begins with a website and can expand to include social media channels that support business promotion and reinforce a company’s brand.
But a website and handful of social media accounts alone won’t effectively boost business. Additional steps need to be taken. Here are 10 that will go a long way to helping find new customers and increasing sales.
Create a Business Blog
A business blog is the most powerful marketing and sales tool available. It is comparable to having a digital newspaper or magazine, as the content is accessible to anyone searching the web.
However, a blog comes with the responsibility of creating high-quality content. Aim for useful, in-depth articles that stay relevant over time and can be easily refreshed. Keep in mind that article length is important, as long-form content (a minimum of 1,000 words) consistently receives more shares than shorter posts.
Be sure to format articles for easy scanning and include images to grab readers’ attention. And don’t forget to include external links that add depth and context to article posts, as well as internal links to direct visitors to more relevant content and keep them on the site longer.
Address Customer Questions
If unsure what to write, create content that answers questions relevant to potential customers. As a starting point, ask staff who regularly interact with customers about the types of questions they receive.
Having these ready-made responses on-hand will also make life easier for staff. They can simply point customers to them by, for example, including a link to a blog article in an e-mail. What’s more, this type of content can eventually be used to create a FAQs (frequently asked questions) web page.
Customers want to do business with people they can relate to and trust. Writing in a conversational tone with simple, easy to understand words makes a blog more readable and engaging, and will likely reach a wider audience. Blogs that are stiff, overly formal and filled with jargon will have a hard time holding the reader’s attention.
Use Keywords and Monitor Progress
Any blog should use customer-relevant search terms. These keywords can then be organized into categories, which is a great way to build out a company’s pillar content.
Using search terms is not enough, though. It’s necessary to monitor keyword progress to judge performance. Tools to use include Google Search Console and Ahrefs, among others. The more keywords associated with a business’s website, the higher it will rank in search engine results. This will result in greater web traffic.
Publish Frequently and Consistently
Pick a frequency and day to publish and stick with it consistently. This will attract search engine spiders to index website pages. With more indexed web pages, a company has more opportunities to be found in a search, resulting in increased web traffic. Improved traffic results are usually seen after posting between 25 and 50 blog posts. So, a business that publishes twice per week will start to see results around the six-month mark. A weekly publishing schedule will result in higher traffic after about a year. Combined, the more indexing and web traffic, the greater the potential for business leads.
Convert Website Visitors into Leads
Attracting a lot of website visitors is one thing. Converting them into leads is another. This can be done by utilizing chatbots. These conversational agents can answer consumers’ questions quickly and invite them to leave their e-mail for follow-up. Other strategies to capture leads include creating subscription sign-ups (blog, e-newsletter, demo registration) and a ‘contact us’ form. At a minimum, an e-mail address must be collected in order to start the lead nurturing process using already developed blog content. This is a great way to educate consumers and open the doorway to further communication.
Conduct a Mobile Website Test
Mobile devices have become more important to the search experience than a desktop computer. Yes, there are some industry-based exceptions to the mobile evolution, but it’s important that any business make sure their website mobile experience is acceptable to both visitors and Google.
Promote Content on Social Media
Sharing blog posts via social media channels (Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook) will help deliver a steady stream of website visitors. Be sure to engage with followers and those who comment on posts. This will increase the perception that posted content is valuable and not just spam. Plus, it’s that human interaction that makes a business come to life.
Use Data to Improve Blog Content
It’s challenging when flying blind in business. Luckily, every company has access to valuable data based on their online activity. Just like with search terms, it’s important to monitor results. Ideally, review website analytics data on a monthly basis. The purpose is to determine which web pages and blog posts are most viewed, driving the highest traffic and converting the greatest leads. Continue with what’s been most successful and change what’s not working.
Integrate Online and Offline Experiences
As much as online experiences bridge the gap between digital and offline, every business will eventually want to arrange a phone call, Zoom meeting or in-person conversation with prospects and customers.
Businesses should also make the most of opportunities to integrate what’s on their website and social networks with real-life experiences to create a human connection. For example, share photos of office staff interacting, repurpose a popular post into a brochure that can be handed out at in-person meetings or add an online visualizer to help sell products in-store.
Christine B. Whittemore is founder and chief simplifier of Simple Marketing Now, which helps businesses get found online with social media and content marketing. Christine can be reached at 973-283-2424 or [email protected].