Starting a business may be challenging, but it’s only half the battle. You also need to market it to get customers through the door. And as a startup, your best bet is digital marketing. After all, over 87% of the U.S. population actively uses the Internet, according to We Are Social’s Digital 2020 report. The researchers also found that Americans spend about 6 hours and 42 minutes on the web. Your customers are always on the Internet, and your business should be, too.
Digital marketing is complicated; that’s what agencies are for. But there are simple ways to boost your business’ online presence if you don’t have the budget to hire one yet. Here are some of them.
Do Some Basic SEO
Expert SEO specialists do a lot of research to come up with terms that take you to the top of the search results. However, there are basic techniques to get your site to at least appear on the results, even if it still isn’t in the first five. Ask yourself and your business partners: What do customers type in to search for our business? For example, if you recently took a cleaning service franchise opportunity, customers might search for “cleaning service in [your location/service area].” Compile these into a list and search for them on Google. Look for any successful competitors for each keyword. You want to mimic what they’re doing.
Once you have a definitive list of keywords, sprinkle them throughout your copy and content when a phrase or sentence calls for it. Going back to the previous example: If you have a sentence that goes like, “We provide top-notch cleaning services.” Add “in [service area].” This way, customers can see you in their “nearby” searches. You don’t want to overdo this. Just add two to three keywords per page. Putting too many keywords, especially in phrases where they don’t belong, is called “keyword stuffing,” and Google will punish you by ranking you lower or outright removing your page from their results.
Blog it Out
Another way to bring traffic to your site is by creating content that’s both relevant to your business and interesting to customers. Again, using the cleaning service example, you could create a blog article about simple home remedies for a dirty carpet and recommend that they call for professionals like you if a stain gets too unruly. ;
Sprinkle some keywords you listed earlier and link them to relevant parts of your site. It’s as simple as highlighting the keyword, clicking on “Add hyperlink or link,” pasting the destination site, and clicking OK. That is called “backlinking.” And it helps improve your site’s search rankings.
Find Your Customers’ Communities and Help Them
Giving professional advice to customers is a great way to build trust with them. As such, you want to hop on social media groups, message boards, and Q&A websites to find queries related to your business and answer them. Using the previous example again, people may ask questions about cleaning certain stains on sites like Quora or Reddit. Give your best answer to them and introduce and link your business after your response. You’ll have loyal clients even before they start paying for your service.
Being seen and heard on the Internet may seem difficult, as there are millions of websites. Not to mention that businesses similar to yours have probably built an online empire already. With these tips, you’ll be seen and heard by your customers.