How to market your business online

Marketing is one of the most important parts to growing a business. Fact.

Read any business advice on how to grow your business, I can guarantee you’ll see, ‘online marketing’.

It’s no good having the most amazing products and services on the market if nobody knows about them. And nowadays we all know everything revolves around the internet, so… it’s time to nail your online marketing for your business.

There are loads of different ways you can approach marketing an online business, so we’ve put together a bunch of useful tips and advice on how to promote your business online:

  • Getting started with online business marketing
  • 10 top tips for your business website
  • How do I market my small business online?
  • How to promote your business locally

Recommended read: 5 “need to knows” in marketing your business online

Getting you started with marketing your business online

If you’re wondering how to market your business online, there are various roads you can go down. The road to success always starts with understanding who your target audience are.

To help you figure out where you should be focusing your online business marketing, here are a few questions to ask yourself about your target consumers:

  • Where are they looking for products and services?
  • Are there online forums or community groups used by your target audience?
  • How much marketing budget do you have to spend?
  • Do you or your team have the right skills to execute marketing campaigns?

The answers to these questions will help you decide which of the many marketing approaches could be right for your business.

10 top tips for your business website

Before you start going wild with marketing ideas, you want to get your business website ship shape. Because there’s nothing worse than promoting your site only to then find it’s full of typos, broken links, and other content issues that customers will find a complete turn-off.

So, before we get stuck into how to market your business online, let’s cover off some of the basics to make sure your website is in fine form for winning over new customers.

  1. Focuses on your customers and their needs, not your business
  2. Make sure it’s mobile-friendly so that it looks good and works properly on small devices
  3. Check all the copy on your website to make sure there are no typos or grammatical errors
  4. Make sure all links and pages are working and fix any broken links
  5. Make it super easy to find your contact details (avoid using a mobile number or Gmail address)
  6. Add customer reviews and testimonials to help build confidence in your brand
  7. Link to your social media accounts to make it easy for customers to find them
  8. Clearly explain what you have to offer and how you can help your customers (what’s your offer, how much does it cost, etc)
  9. Make your site easy to navigate by using clear and logical menus, buttons, and links
  10. Invest in strong and stylish imagery to help create a feeling of quality for your site

How do I market my small business online?

You’ll need to invest time (and maybe some money) in the online marketing of your business website if you want customers to come running.

A quick heads up before we continue – marketing your small business online is going to be an ongoing task. It’s not something you can do once and forget about.

Think of online marketing as a new part of your regular business practice.

Do SEO – you can’t grow online without it

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the collective term for all the graft you put in to get your website to appear as high as possible in search engine results pages (otherwise known as SERPs).

You want to do all the right things so that Google loves your website and puts it high in the list when customers search for terms related to your business.

The goal is to get to the coveted #1 spot.

But you want that number 1 spot for relevant searches that:

1. Your customers are actually searching for

2. Your business offers as a service

If you’re ranking and it’s not for either of these reasons, it’s a waste of time. And worse, money.

When done properly well, SEO has some great benefits for your business:

  • The higher you are positioned in Google search results, the more likely you are to drive more traffic to your site.
  • Strong SEO performance will convert browsing users into your new customers.
  • Appearing high in search results will help build brand awareness and potentially reach a new group of customers you haven’t previously.
  • SEO can offer a great return on investment (ROI) for a modest amount of money and resource you invest.

Want to see real business results SEO achieved for someone we work with?

Create great content

One of the most powerful ways to boost your business online is to regularly create high quality content that your customers will find engaging and useful.

Connecting with your customers is crucial, especially if you have a new or small business that you want to grow.

Unless you’re a talented wordsmith yourself, you’ll want to hire a copywriter to carefully craft your branded content.

A professional copywriter has the skills to write copy that speaks directly to your target audience(s), whilst also being SEO-friendly to help boost your rankings in Google.

Whether it’s for your website, blog, social media accounts or email marketing – make sure quality content is a top priority for your business. You won’t be sorry.

See how to outsource your content and how much a copywriter costs.

Connect with customers on social

Most businesses have social media accounts, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, or all of them. But you’d be surprised at how many are doing it wrong.

Simply posting regularly isn’t enough. You need to be genuinely social, that means sharing content your followers are going to love and then engaging in conversations with them.

Ask thought-provoking questions and respond to followers when they comment on or share your content. Brands that embrace their social channels with a real voice and an engaging brand personality are the ones that see social media adding a valuable boost to their traffic and sales.

It’s also a good idea to connect with notable figures in your industry/business community, as well as customers, to build your network. They’ll often share useful information about the business landscape, and some may even end up being your customers or partners in the future.

Use the power of paid advertising

If you find yourself with some money in your marketing kitty you might want to consider some paid advertising. Our top tip is to start small, learn what works and what doesn’t and then scale up with the advertising that gives you the best ROI.

Some of the most popular paid advertising for marketing an online business:

  • Google ads
  • Facebook ads and promoted content
  • LinkedIn ads campaigns and promoted content
  • Microsoft Bing Ads
  • Instagram sponsored posts

Big up your business with awards

For businesses that have been trading for a while, entering business awards can be a clever way to both raise your business’s profile within your industry and, if you win, gain a very powerful marketing tool – who doesn’t want to buy from an award-winning business?!

Most industries will have some kind of business award that you can apply for, and some are even free to enter. Do your homework to find the most relevant awards for your business (and make sure they’re not just a money-making con), then start applying.

How to promote your business locally

If you have a business that relies on local customers in particular, you’ll want to put your efforts into marketing activities that will specifically reach people in your area – rather than casting a wide net that might not get you the results you want.

Here are some of our top tips for how to promote your business locally:

  • Create a Google My Business account so that you show up when customers search for location-specific business, including searches in Google Maps.
  • Advertise online using local audience targeting and use language that will resonate with local customers.
  • Create locally-relevant content on your website, social channels and/or blog that caters to your local customers, such as local guides, tips and tricks.
  • Add your business to local online directories, such as Yelp, Facebook and Bing – and make sure the contact details are the same on all of them.
  • Set up a loyalty scheme that offers discounts or special offers for customers who recommend your business to other people.
  • Get involved with your local community, sponsor local events, partner with other local businesses.
  • Use old school methods like advertising in local shop windows, direct mailers or taking out ads in your local paper – it’s amazing how these can still boost your business profile in your local community.

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