Online promotion is a necessity for almost any business these days. If you are a new business, or one with a low advertising budget, navigating the many options available to you can be daunting, especially when you are also concentrating on other day-to-day business needs. However, major search engines, social media, and advertising services have made it easy to promote your business online. In many cases, services are free or low-cost. Give your customers what they want by having a sound presence online.
1 Create a website.
A visible online business presence requires having a website that users can visit for information. Luckily, you don’t have to be an experienced web developer to create a website for your business.
Many services (such as WordPress and Skydomainz) make it easy for you to set up a business website using simple, guided steps.
Google has partnered with local business services through the Get Your Business Online (GYBO) program to help businesses create websites and promote themselves online in other ways.
You can also work with a company (such as Skydomainz.net) to purchase a website domain name. Many of these company also offer services to help you build the website, or will create one for you. These services usually have a low monthly fee.
Try to make your website’s domain name one that matches your business name, or, if that is not possible, one that describes what products or services it offers.
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2 Build content on your website.
Once you’ve created a basic website, you should start filling it with useful information. Think about what potential customers would like to know about your business, and make sure that the information is easy to find. You can include:
- Hours of operation
- Contact information (telephone, email, etc.)
- Information about products and services that your business offers
- Descriptions of any special offers
- Your business logo, prominently featured
- The history of your business
- Testimonies or reviews from past clients/customers
3 Share your URL.
You want every customer to be able to find your website easily. While search engines can make this possible, you should also seize every opportunity to share your website’s address (URL). Print it on business cards, invoices, brochures, promotional materials, etc.
4 Choose a blogging service.
Many companies also like to share information with customers by writing and posting regular news, stories, and offers online. You can incorporate a blog into your website using help from a website set-up service or program. You can also create a blog on a separate website with help from a blogging service, such as:
5 Blog regularly.
Blogs can be used to show the world what your business offers or cares about. The important thing is to update frequently—if your blog hasn’t had new content in a while, people might think that your company not active. On the other hand, avoid updating your blog so frequently that subscribers are annoyed with the inundation of information.
- It is a good idea to create a backlog of content that is ready to go up on your blog at any time. That way, if you are too busy to create content from scratch, you can pull something from this pool of material.
- List posts (Like “Top 10 Customer Favorites”) or roundups (“Highlights of 2015”) can be created quickly, and will pull users deeper into your blog, if you link to older blog posts or other areas of your website.
- Make your blog content shareable. Most blogging services already have this feature built in. This allows users to repost your content on their own websites or blogs, easily promoting your business more widely.
6 Learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
If you are serious about promoting your business online, you will want to learn how to maximize opportunities for users to interact with your online content and site(s) through major search engines (such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing). You can learn more about this technique, called SEO, by reading tips online, or taking an online or in-person course. Marketing companies can also work with your business on SEO matters
7 Make your website mobile-friendly.
An increasing amount of online traffic comes from users of mobile devices. To make websites easier to read (and less taxing on users’ data plans), they should be optimized for smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Some website services and programs incorporate mobile optimization automatically, but you should frequently view your website on a variety of devices to make sure that it is user-friendly.