1. Find out who you are as a brand.
Promoting your company with a consistent brand identity can give it a more credible and trustworthy appearance, which is essential for bringing in new clients. Nearly nine out of ten consumers have strong brand loyalty, with over a quarter of them showing an increase in brand loyalty between 2019 and 2020.
For Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos, branding is "what other people say about you when you're not in the room," or the way consumers react when they hear the company's name. All of your assets, from their design to their branding, are part of your overall brand identity.
2. Get to know your ideal customer.
Who do you think your hypothetical online shopper looks like as they seek out your wares? To what extent do they suffer from such problems? What exactly do they do? In order to design a website that appeals to your target audience, it is helpful to first create a buyer persona that describes your perfect client in detail.
By developing a profile of your ideal consumer, or "buyer persona," you'll be better equipped to anticipate their needs and tailor your website's content accordingly.
3. Make a brand identity system, including a logo and other visuals.
You may kick off the imaginative process by deciding on a colour scheme and then browsing palettes in Adobe Color or Coolors. A wide variety of pre-existing and user-created colour schemes are available for your perusal.
I suggest using a platform like Upwork or Freelancer if you need a logo designed. There are free and less priced choices for developing your own logo online, while utilising a freelancer or agency may offer you a higher quality output and link you with a designer who can tweak and update your brand assets as your company grows.
4. Put up your site using a content management system template.
If you're a tech-savvy business owner, you'll want to construct your own site. With a CMS (content management system), things are streamlined considerably.
You can acquire free or cheaply priced, fully editable website designs for most CMSs. You may find a template that fits your level of expertise, from novice to pro.
Most content management systems have plugins available to assist with SEO once a website has been developed (look for SEO plugins). We'll get into more detail about how this impacts your Google rankings below.
5. Create a plan for entering the market.
After activating all necessary promotional resources, you must develop a strategy that is in step with the customer's experience in order to succeed. To increase your chances of converting leads into customers, you should think about what kind of material would most interest, captivate, and excite your target audience.
Use this sample to guide your preparations for this task.
6. Get a freelancer to help you with content scalability.
Instead than investing in a full-time employee, consider hiring a freelancer if you need assistance generating frequent blogs or promotional content. Look for a freelance writer, filmmaker, or photographer on Upwork. If the project is significant enough, you may want to look into hiring a marketing firm.
7. Get in touch with web design firms or independent designers.
If you lack technical expertise but still need a website for your company, consider hiring a freelancer or a marketing firm that focuses on web design. If your company currently has a website but wants to boost its visibility on search engines like Google, this is an excellent option to consider.
To find a freelancer or marketing consultant in your area, you can use Upwork (filtering by design/creative), Codeable (for WordPress experts) or Freelancer.
8. Employ analytics software to keep tabs on how your site is performing.
If you've never made a website before and aren't entirely comfortable with the technical elements, there are a variety of free tools and services to help you get started. When you create your website, make sure you implement Google Analyticsor HubSpot Marketing Free(both of which are free products) so you can easily track who's looking at your site.
Advice for Local Businesses on Internet Advertising
9. Boost your Google ranking with SEO.
If you already have a business, have you ever searched for yourself or your product/service online? If so, did you think, "Why isn't my website showing up on Google?" If so, you probably thought, "How do I rank on Google?" or "How can I improve my Google ranking?"
There are a lot of factors that play into why a certain site or page appears in the top spots on the Google (or another search engine) search engine results page (SERP). Backlinko reports some of Google's top factors, which include having relevant keywords (and their placement on your site), the length of your content, having high-quality content, how fast your page loads, how often you post content, and more.
When it all boils down, Google essentially tries to find the best piece of content to present to the person searching. For example, if I'm searching for the best salon in Newport, Rhode Island, it wouldn't be helpful for me to find a web page of a salon that has closed down and is located in Newport, Kentucky. It would, however, be helpful for me to find a salon in my area with great Yelp reviews, an easy-to-navigate website, and contact information readily available. Google always wants to surface the most relevant, highest-quality piece of content.
To rank higher on Google, you can leverage the power of SEO, or search engine optimization. To start learning everything there is to know about this powerhouse marketing tactic, check out The Ultimate Guide to SEO.
HubSpot explains SEO as "techniques that help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This makes your website more visible to people who are looking for solutions that your brand, product, or service can provide via search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing." In other words, it's the basic concept of structuring your website and blog posts to be in the best shape for appearing first on search engines.
SEO strategy usually consists of a few things. These include buyer persona research, keyword research, and on-page SEO research. These three areas can help you learn how your target market is searching online, and position your business to get discovered by the right people.
10. Research keywords opportunities.
Keyword research is an extension of buyer persona research. You can use the personas you've created to search for the best keywords for your brand, then use a tool like KW Finder to find related keywords for your target audience.
Then, you can do some on-page SEO research and optimization. This is where you put those keywords in the correct places on your website — like in the meta-description, page titles, and H1 tags.
11. Optimise your website for mobile devices.
Most Google searches are done on mobile devices, so it's important to have a site that looks clean and easy to navigate when someone enters it on their smartphone. A mobile site can also be beneficial for SEO, with search engines like Google which rewards you with a higher ranking if you have a mobile site.
You don't have to be a tech expert to build a site that looks good on mobile. In fact, most CMS platforms like HubSpot already offer mobile-optimized templates.
12. Write optimised blog posts.
Content and blogging are extremely important when it comes to your search engine ranking. The more often your desired keywords appear in your high-quality and helpful content, the more likely you are to appear in search results. A great way to become an authority on your topic, product, or service is to blog.
Make sure you're writing with SEO in mind — use this SEO checklist for bloggers, or a WordPress plugin like Yoast.
13. Experiment with photo and video content.
According to HubSpot Research, more than 50% of consumers want to see videos from brands. Additionally, most social media apps, like Facebook and Instagram are embracing more visual layouts. To keep up with these trends, it's a good idea to make a few marketing videos. If you use these tips, producing a few can be quite inexpensive.
14. Launch business pages on Facebook and Yelp.
If your business is focused on a local area, the most important accounts for you are Facebook, Yelp, and Google's business feature. Having high Yelp reviews improves your authority online and helps your search ranking. You can claim your business on Yelp for free, customize your profile and add pictures, and start asking for reviews.
The same thing goes for registering your Google business page. You can register your business with Google (for free) and add pictures. (If you've ever searched for your business in Google Maps and been disappointed not to see it, it's because you haven't claimed it yet!)
On Facebook, you can create a Facebook business page so that people can find your location and hours.
For any business, having up-to-date social media accounts will help you be found and engage with prospects. Create a Twitter account, Facebook page, learn how to use Instagram, create a Pinterest page (if relevant), and use them as a way to discover new clients.
15. Build out your social media strategy.
While Facebook and Yelp will be great tools for local searches and reviews, platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter will offer you even more opportunities to share your posts, content, and promotions.
If your customers can purchase your products or services online, these platforms will also give them another way to find you.
Be sure not to spread yourself too thin by joining too many platforms at once. To make strategising easier, here's a guide to the five types of social media platforms and the pros and cons of each.
16. Use social media for customer service.
Once you're on your chosen platforms, be sure to answer customer or follower questions when they ask them through post comments or direct messages. This will make your company look responsive and credible. Here are some great examples of how brands have used Twitter for customer service.
If you have the means, consider hiring a social media manager with community management experience. On top of posting content on a regular schedule, community managers are charged with responding to questions or concerns of followers. Interested? We published a guide on what it takes to be a great social media community manager.
17. Build interesting landing pages.
A landing page offers your potential customers a free resource in exchange for filling out a short form of contact information. When they receive the resource, they might be even more pleased by your company and more interested in buying the full product.
Because landing pages raise your chances of customer conversion, you want yours to look enticing. To get started, read this landing page guide to learn more about what makes this strategy successful. Then check out these free and professionally designed templates.
18. Plan an email marketing strategy.
Once you start creating regular content and building out landing pages, you'll want to share them with the prospects who seem most interested in learning more about your product. For this reason, we suggest building an email marketing strategy.
While you want to be careful not to bombard those who sign up for your email list with too many emails, you want to send just enough to keep your prospects informed and engaged. Here's how our metrics improved when we streamlined our email marketing strategy.
If you've never sent regular newsletters before, you can use HubSpot or a number of other affordable tools to create and send an email with a professionally designed template. Many email tools also offer basic analytics that allow you to track open and click rates.
19. Offer coupons in newsletters or on landing pages.
Placing a coupon in your marketing emails can engage and delight your audience. After buying a product or service at a discounted rate, they also might be more willing to pay for it in full price. If you have a subscription service, it can also be helpful to offer prospects a code for a free trial so they can test it out.
20. Share your distribution channels on your website.
Once you have a few social media accounts and can allow people to sign up for your newsletter, highlight this on your website so your visitors can follow you. One way companies do this is to display all of their linked social icons and a newsletter sign-up call to action on all pages of your website. A good place to include these is on the top right corner or on the footer of each page. This way they are visible but aren't distracting from any content.
21. Offer a free webinar.
A webinar allows potential customers to sign up for a short online course hosted by you. These courses are usually between 30 minutes to an hour and allow you to give tips and answer questions related to a topic your brand is familiar with. While this strategy can help you boost your credibility in your field, it can also offer you potential leads and sales opportunities.
22. Try co-marketing.
Is there a local business in your area that isn't a direct competitor but offers a product or service to a similar target audience? Consider working with them on a cobranded campaign where you promote each other on social media, via email, or in your blog. While you'll give your partnering company added promotion, it will also allow their fanbase to learn more about you.
23. Encourage happy customers to share their experiences.
When a happy customer talks about how great your company is on social media or a review site, your product or service looks like a good investment. Even on social media, word of mouth is still a huge factor in someone's purchasing decision. If a prospect sees a friend raving about your business on Facebook or if they post a photo of a meal from your restaurant on Instagram, they could be more likely to go. After all, 71% of consumers are more likely to purchase based on social media referrals.
If customers are telling you they love your product, encourage them to share about the experience on Yelp, Google, or social. If you have a physical business, you might also want to place signs up with your account handles so customers know who to tag if they post a picture of your product.
24. Try out marketing experiments.
If there's a new social platform you're interested in or a new marketing trend, don't be afraid to experiment. If an experiment goes well, you could be ahead of the game, and it never hurts to be a thought leader in your industry.
When you experiment with a new marketing strategy, be sure to have a solid hypothesis or question in mind. This will keep you focused on the end goal and reduce the desire to chase the next big thing as it comes along. Also, prepare for what your next steps will be if you get good or bad results. Here's a quick guide to leading a successful marketing experiment.