As a new or experienced business owner, you completely understand the importance of having a constant stream of customers coming through your door. After all, no customers means no revenue, which, of course, leads to no business. Having a dwindling amount of new customers coming to your company can mean that there are other underlying issues going on with your business. Rather than simply blaming it on a slow economy or off-season, business owners should take proactive measures to stop the bleeding. The following list includes a variety of methods that can all be combined together to connect more customers to your business.
Define Your Target Audience
It is much easier to look and find customers if you know the type of audience you are looking for. Without a clear outline of your target audience, there is little to no chance that your marketing strategy will work. The best way to approach this is to brainstorm with your team to develop a clear picture of the perfect client. Resist going into the typical man, woman, millennial demographic. Instead, the best strategy is to focus on the type of customer that has brought you success in the past and how their needs might have changed. Through this method, you can begin to develop a target audience that is most likely to purchase from you.
Use Google Maps Marketing
Over the past decade, people have changed dramatically how they research a company. At one point, people would ask a friend or simply walk into the business and hope for the best. Today, most potential customers are researching their options on Google. Understandably, that’s where you have to be then. One of the most efficient ways to reach out to potential customers is by adding Google Maps marketing to your business strategy. By claiming your business listing with Google Maps, your SEO ranking will rise and connect you to more potential customers, according to Podium. This means that even if they don’t know you exist, Google will recommend you depending on their search. The more people begin to interact with your company through Google, the higher you will rank.
Update Your Blog Regularly
One of the best ways to attract customers to your shop or eCommerce site is first to provide them something of value such as photos, videos, and podcasts that they can listen to on their drive home or at the gym. In fact, most marketing experts like The Proof Fairy will say that the best way to bring in customers is to first blog as much as you can. In addition to providing customers with value, you are also being given the opportunity to implement as much SEO as possible into your blogs. This SEO or Search Engine optimization keywords will help you rank on Google and allow people who are looking for your type of service or product to find you that much easier.
A great way to attract new customers is to work with local businesses that complement the products or services you provide. This is often how shampoo companies start their businesses. They visit local barbershops and provide them with inventory that they can sell for a small commission. As you can see, this can be a win-win situation for both parties involved as each offers their existing customer base with new products, all without looking too salesy.
Asking for a referral from your current clients can often seem like going to the well one too many times. Some business owners might also find it rude to ask. However, there is no better way to connect to more customers than by being recommended by an existing client. Understandably, you may be nervous about approaching existing customers. The Sales Readiness Group states that the best way to obtain referrals is to provide them with a method that makes it easy to collect this information. A popular method includes sending out a mass email message allowing customers to include referral information without making it too much of a hassle. This means not sending them to your website or making them log in. If you like, you can also include a reward for those who provide information in the form of a discount.
Participate in Community Events
There is no doubt about it; people like to support local businesses. In addition, they also like to support businesses that give back to the community. Adrian Swinscoe shares that one of the best methods to connect with new customers is to participate in the community. This can be through volunteering to clean parks during a festival, provide certain food or drinks, or simply run a toy drive out of your business. Doing this can really put your name out there for everyone to see.
Customers are the lifeblood of a company; without them, you might as well close up shop. This is why so much time and money goes into finding new customers. Thus, it is highly recommended that business owners take a few of the tips listed above and begin implementing them into their own company before it’s too late. Your business strategy should involve targeted online marketing, personalized relationships, and a strong identity to create success for your company.
If you are looking to increase sales and profits for your company, it is a good idea to market its products and services online. However, there are many different things that you have to do well for SEO or other types of online marketing campaigns to succeed. Let’s take a look at some of the different reasons why you aren’t seeing the results that you want from your latest SEO efforts.
Did You Give It Long Enough?
You won’t see any tangible results from an SEO campaign for at least four to six months. In most cases, it will take almost a full year or longer before you notice a significant and consistent increase in sales. For the first few weeks and months of your SEO overhaul, focus more on getting your social media profiles or blog posts on the first page of search results. In the first few weeks or months of your marketing reboot, you should also be concentrating more on increasing your brand’s reach and recognition. By focusing on those things, you lay the foundation for higher conversion rates and lower customer acquisition costs in the future.
Are You Targeting the Right People?
How you approach brand recognition and marketing will largely depend upon what your product is and where you sell. If you’re a local business but not focusing on local SEO ranking factors, then, of course, your sales won’t move much. It may also be a good idea to become more active in social media outreach to local businesses or local business leaders. On the other hand, if your company is seeking to become a national brand, you will want to develop relationships with other national brands or those who have an extensive reach.
Are You Targeting the Right Keywords?
It is important for you to target keywords and phrases that are relevant to your geographic location or industry. You may also want to target words and phrases related to the goods or services that your company provides. You should spend some time using keyword ranking tools and other resources prior to determining what you want to target. Ideally, you’ll look to incorporate long-tail keywords that aren’t competitive into blog or social media content. Doing so gives you better odds of landing on the first page of the search results.
Is Your Content Good Enough?
Regardless of how good you are at directing people to your blog posts or social media pages, it won’t matter if the content isn’t good enough. Ideally, blog posts will range from 300 to 500 words at a minimum, but if you can, make them 1000 to 2000 words so you can get more engagement. It is important that everything you publish online is free of spelling and grammar errors. Otherwise, your readers may get the impression that your brand doesn’t care about quality. This could result in fewer people choosing to buy your goods or services, and it could also result in people going out of their way to tell others not to do business with your company.
Is Your Content New Enough?
Search engines tend to favor sites that have fresh content over those that have stale content. Therefore, it is important that you add new blog posts or social media content on a regular basis. The good news is that search engines tend to view updates or edits to existing content as new. This means that you may be able to get away with updating stories written in the past month or year as opposed to writing about a fresh topic each week.
Does Your Site Look Good on Mobile Devices?
Sites that don’t work well on mobile devices are not going to be featured on search engine results. The good news is that most site builders allow you to preview your site in both desktop and mobile modes before you publish it. Ultimately, you will have the ability to work out any problems that may exist before your site goes live. In addition to a website that displays properly on a smartphone or tablet, it can also be a good idea to develop an app that connects your company directly to your target audience.
How Fast Does Your Site Load?
You’ll want every customer’s visit to be a convenient experience. If your site doesn’t load in a timely manner, you could be losing potential customers. This is because no one is going to want to buy products from a website that takes seconds or minutes to transition from one page to the next. Furthermore, sites can be pushed down in the search results or not indexed at all if they don’t load fast enough. If you are building a site on your own from scratch, be sure that you do a speed test before publishing it for the first time. Speed tests should also be done periodically to ensure that there aren’t any bugs or other issues that could be keeping customers away.
Have You Done Any A/B Testing?
Conducting A/B tests allows you to determine which variables may be making your site less attractive or harder to use. These can also show you if there are pages or portions of pages that customers aren’t visiting or spending a lot of time on. In some cases, putting content that features keywords higher on the page can make it more visible to search engines. Changing fonts, colors or other elements on a page could make it more appealing. These subtle alterations could also make a site easier to read on a mobile device or allow it to load faster. You can choose to conduct A/B tests internally or have an SEO professional conduct them on your company’s behalf.
There are many key details that you need to be aware of when creating and executing an SEO campaign. An effective one can require considerable effort. You’ll need to be patient and flexible to ensure it succeeds. If you’re truly lost as to why you’re not seeing the results you expected, it may also be necessary to call in an SEO professional for guidance.
It is a good feeling when you notice significant progress in your business. However, you must evaluate to determine whether you are doing all you can to reach your fullest growth potential. There may be an area of concern that you are not aware of. So, while it is amazing to see your business grow, if you do not check every area of your business, get feedback, and stay abreast of the competition, then you may find your business losing steam and start regressing.
Why You Should Scale Across the Board
Scaling is the same as sizing. Businesses can negotiate favorable terms, volume discounts, and exclusive dealings with other organizations by leveraging up with sizing. With the business scale, you will optimize the efforts that go into the operation of your business (Source: Josh Lowry). It will focus more on the optimization and not the duplication of your efforts. There may be some duplication of areas that are tremendously helping your brand, but after a while, you must adjust or eliminate those areas to stay abreast of the competition.
Businesses using scale possess operating leverage. Revenue growth is greatly possible with little to no increase in operational costs. Operational costs include sales, administrative fees, advertising, and more.
Set Goals for Your Social Media
One major way these days to scale your business is by using social media platforms. One thing you should do to set goals for your social media growth is to use platforms that your target audience frequently visit. “When deciding which social media platforms to focus on, it’s important to do some research on where your customers already are. If the individuals you are targeting congregate on LinkedIn it might not make sense to put a lot of effort into a Facebook presence and vice versa” (Source: Podium)
Once you discover which social media sites to use, you should set the following goals for your social media marketing:
Post content once daily. Doing this will keep you engaged with your target audience.
Utilize a clear CTA (call to action), meaning always use your contact information for folks to reach out to you to find out more about your products or services.
Make the best of social media branding by using cohesive messaging on a consistent basis. Doing this will distinguish your brand from competitors, and it will become a part of a household name among customers.
Create your blog, site, email blasts, and more in a consistent manner in tone and voice, visual identity, schedule, and messaging. The result of this consistency is the same as point number three.
Grow your community by seeking more page likes and more followers. Having more likes and followers will make your business more credible to most users. They will see that your product or service must be of high quality.
Engage with your community by using and allowing shares, comments, likes, replies, and mentions. You can gain collective data of your community’s perception of your brand.
The end goal of social media marketing is to have conversions. You can build on your community as well as do some soft selling. Do this by maintaining the social aspect while also making customers aware of new products and services.
Other Ways to Scale for Business Growth
Another important aspect about scale includes the fact of rapidly adding revenue while also incrementally adding resources (Source: Edison Partners). To accomplish this, you must do the following:
Employ good product-minded individuals. When you do this, you will gain customer-centricity, product development alignment with market needs, and more.
Package services that add value for repeated selling and delivery. For example, you can provide timeline subscriptions or package deals.
Combine services delivery with product management ownership. Doing this will lead to additional scalable services provisions and an additional scalable end product.
Once you do all the steps above, it is vital to check to see how your business is doing. You can use different metrics, such as Google Analytics, to accomplish this. You can also use Excel to keep track of your sales and whether they are increasing.
Preparing for Growth Analogy
As you go through your business journey, realize that everything will not always be an even and steady ride. Even Fortune 500 companies had some rough times. When you look at their graphs, you will notice how they either stayed at a certain level or declined during some periods. However, they still grew to astronomical levels as time went on.
Know When to Scale Your Business
In addition to implementing these steps, you must know when to scale your business. There are signs that signal when it is time to scale your business for new revenue streams, new customers, and more brand recognition. Additionally, you should scale your business when there is an opportunity to expand in an atmosphere with minimal risk. First step in scaling a business is making sure your website is capable and ready for increased traffic, customers, or sales (Source: LinearTech)
To maintain your growth and keep growing to maturity, utilize all of the above tips. You will be amazed at how far your brand will expand. The bottom line is that you will maintain expandable growth by utilizing scaling efforts.
Search engine optimization is a big part of website optimization, but it’s only one part, not all of it. Optimizing your website for search engine so it ranks at the top of a search engine result page is a milestone of your marketing success. Your ultimate goal is to attract customers, end users, and increase conversions. Search engines are the same. They work for end users, readers, buyers, and consumers. If your customers like your products or services, and they are happy with your website, search engines will rank it high. There’s no trick, no shortcut. Provide high quality services, serve good products, and create an attractive website that best represent and promote your business.
Best practices for website optimization:
Set a goal for what you’d like to accomplish with your website – increase brand awareness, increase sales, increase audience engagement, etc. Each goal would have impact on the design, structure, and content of your website.
Optimize websites for searchers (people) and search engines. Searchers are people. When somebody goes on Internet and a search engine page such as Google and Bing!, they have a purpose. They want information. Search engines have a purpose too – they want to answer these people’s questions and return the results they are looking for. If your products, services, and your website match the searcher’s criteria, you serve both the people and the search engines. If your website shows up in the search engine result pages, the user becomes your potential customer. Search engines crawl web page content to understand the purpose of the websites and the users, and they use programs, algorithms, and raters to try to feed the searchers with results that best match their inquiries. However, if your website is optimized to match the potential search keywords or strings, it will help search engine understand thus index your web pages quicker and with higher ranks.
Optimization on design
Great cognitive fluency
Relevant color scheme
Streamlined next steps readily available
Invest on high quality content and graphics
Relevant content based on users intent from search query
Relevant content to topic of search query.
Provides value to searchers
High quality writing and photos
On-Page SEO Take good care of the following areas of your website: page title, URLs, page headers, content body, meta descriptions. Make sure they are not blank and updated with the most relevant and readable content.
Just the right amount of social media integration No excessive social media sharing please. Too many “Share” and “Like” buttons that link to external web pages not only distracts readers, but also takes them away from your website, and sometimes away from your business. However, it is good to choose 1-3 social media platforms that are relevant to your business, keep them updated, and integrate them seamlessly in your website.
Make your website dynamic, not static. Update your website regularly. Try to keep it up-to-date with the happenings of your business. Operating hours, contact info, prices, product information, new services, staff / personnel, events, photos, copyright statements, etc.
Make your website mobile friendly and responsive. For details about mobile friendly and responsive websites, please read this post.
WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and a content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL, which runs on a web hosting service. Features include a plugin architecture and a template system. WordPress is used by more than 22.0% of the top 10 million websites as of August 2013. WordPress is the most popular blogging system in use on the Web, at more than 60 million websites.
Check out some of the WordPress websites LinearTech has developed: click here.
A content management system (CMS) is a computer program that allows publishing, editing and modifying content as well as maintenance from a central interface. Such systems of content management provide procedures to manage workflow in a collaborative environment. These procedures can be manual steps or an automated cascade. CMSs have been available since the late 1990s.
CMSs are often used to run websites containing blogs, news, and shopping. Many corporate and marketing websites use CMSs. CMSs typically aim to avoid the need for hand coding but may support it for specific elements or entire pages.