Welcome to guest writer, Pawel Grabowski.
A website is an absolute must for any business, startup and established business alike. But I am sure that’s something you know already.
I am sure you also know why. It’s the best way to get prospects to find your business.
Usually though the problem starts at how to promote it online.
Let’s face it, it’s quite easy to get lost in the wealth of internet marketing techniques, especially when you are only starting out.
There’s the SEO, Pay Per Click Advertising, Content, Video,Email or SMS Marketing, Social Media and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Then each of those has its own tricks and techniques that make them successful or not.
It’s all intimidating to say the least.
That’s why I decided to write up a short introductory guide to what you really need to know about promoting your business online.
1. Get Some Good Business Cards
Yes, you heard me right, print some amazing business cards. And I know, it sounds a bit radical, but let me explain.
Getting to a point where you win new business through a website takes time. Your website will not gain much traction in the first few months and, even after that, depending on your industry, getting it to a point of selling might not be that easy.
On the other hand, direct selling, meeting people and building relationships with them is probably the fastest way to find new work. Therefore, get yourself a pack of breathtaking business cards and go out there to sell.
2. Understand Your Customers
Online marketing is all about content. Content lures people to your site, content gets them to believe you, build some trust in you and content gets them to buy.
In order to create such content though, you need to understand your customers. You need to realize what they are looking for. And, you need to know what stage of the buying process they are in and what content you need to create to attract their attention.
3. Focus on Long Tail Keywords
Ranking on top of Google for one-two word terms describing what you do would be great. Terms like “writer”, “freelance writer”. “IT guy” and many others certainly get thousands upon thousands of searches each month.
However, these are also extremely difficult keywords to rank for. It can take years (and wads of cash) before you even come close to page one.
When coming up with your online strategy, focus on long tail keywords, those 3-4 words or longer phrases that very specifically describe what they buyer is looking for.
“Freelance web content writer London” may be a much easier phrase to rank for than “Freelance writer”. The search volume for it might be significantly lower, yet people searching for it are most likely to be ready to buy straight away.
4. Don’t Do What Everyone Else is Doing
Even if your competitors are all over Google with their PPC ads, you don’t have to. The fact that they spend a lot of money on advertising doesn’t mean that you have to do the same thing.
It might be that PPC is not performing really well in your industry and your competitor is only burning cash.
Pick your marketing strategies according to your budget instead.
If you can’t afford an expensive PPC campaign, don’t do it. Focus on organic rankings instead.
Have a visually appealing product? Try Video SEO instead of spending money on advertising. You can even record some first clips in your office with the equipment you already have. Yet, this could elevate you on page one relatively quickly.
If you are promoting a local business, invest in local SEO presence first. And with that, you can even get on top of Google quite quickly for local related keywords.
Also, don’t get intimidated by what your competitors do. Remember, they have started small too and even if it may seem that they dominate the internet, there is always a way for you to position yourself beside or even above them.
Pawel Grabowski is the owner of Teapot Digital, an SEO agency from Dublin, Ireland, helping small to medium enterprises acquire more business through digital channels. He is also the owner of The Happy Bike, a successful online store.