You’ve just had a new website built for your small business – hoorah! You’re ready to launch it. Problem is, how is anyone going to know about it? Having recently been involved in the launch of a new website (Visit the Weald URL) I’d thought I’d share with you some marketing tips your new website. These are our top 10 marketing tips that all small businesses can apply – no matter what your knowledge of computers or the internet is, and whatever it is you do – whether you’re a photographer, carpenter or a driving instructor (a shout out to some of my new clients there!). These are all easy things you can do and you don’t need a fancy pants PR agency to do it for you.
1. Word of mouth – tell your friends and family!
Word of mouth is everything. Tell everyone you meet and get them to tell their friends too. It may sound like stating the obvious but many people are too embarrassed to really push friends and family into actively helping. Don’t just mention it in passing at the next social event you have a new website. Send out an email now – explain what the website is about, what it offers and say that it would be really helpful if they can talk to their friends/family about it too. Enlist the services of those close to you!
2. Promote the website on Facebook
Don’t have a Facebook page for your business yet? Get one, and fast. ‘Like’ other business pages, invite family and friends to ‘Like’ your page, share a post introducing your new website and ask people to share it. Research says that the most engaging content is pictures rather than text, so consider putting what you want to say into an image or photograph.
3. Start a blog
This is surprisingly easy to set-up – the hard part is to maintain it in-between a busy work/home life, but in the beginning it can help drive much-needed traffic to your website from Google, Facebook and Twitter. Remember – the content will stay online forever! What you write now will still be searchable in 10 years time so it’s a worthwhile investment when you consider that publishing an article in a hard copy magazine will only be seen for a short period of time.
4. Write a press release
Don’t make the assumption that no would be interested in your little website. Write a press release and distribute it to potential customers by posting it on your website or blog, and emailing it to existing clients and those who you think would be interested in your website. Want people to know about your website? Tell them!
5. Advertise in local press
If you are aware of a local paper or magazine that has a good circulation in the area you are trying to attract customers, it may be worth considering investing in an ad to appear them. Although there is initial cost upfront it’s all about getting your name out there and after doing your research it may be that some of your potential clients are more likely to pick up a local paper than be on Facebook. Cover all bases.
Twitter is all about networking and it can generate a huge amount of interest of businesses. Follow other people in your field as well as potential clients, and then tweet about your website. Setting up a Twitter account can take 5 minutes. Link it to your Facebook page. It’s very easy so even if you don’t consider yourself a Tweeter you have nothing to lose.
7. Good SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
If you have had your website built by a professional website designer then they should have ensured your website is Google-friendly. However, you should be aware that rankings in Google will be increased by the content on your website and this is often something that will be managed by yourself. Make sure your content contains your key words (that is to say the words you expect potential clients to be typing into Google in order that your name comes up). There’s a lot more to it than that, but it’s a good start.
8. Get new business cards
This is so important. Make sure your new website address is on your business card and give it out at every opportunity! Give some to other businesses who you work closely with too so that they can easily refer clients by handing out your card. This is a case of I’ll scratch yours if you scratch mine. For instance, if you are wedding photographer swap business cards with venues, caterers or other wedding suppliers. If you are an electrician swap cards with local plasterers and other tradesmen. Be careful though. Any business you are linked with will reflect on you so make sure they’re good!
9. Generate backlinks
This links in with SEO because backlinks with will improve your ranking in Google. What this means is that your website link will appear on other websites. The best way to do this is by having a presence on other pages such as Yell.com or other directories, social media profiles e.g. LinkedIn and by commenting on blogs. Also bear in mind commenting a couple of times on a blog in your field/industry isn’t going to cut it – you need to be doing it lots.
10. Arrange a competition or giveaway
This is a sure-fire way to get interest and traffic to your new website. Everyone likes something for nothing after all! It is worth the investment. I have been involved in several competitions and giveaways as part of the marketing I do for Clever Little Fishes’ clients. In my experience it has always generated business and always gets more ‘likes’ on that client’s Facebook page.
Any other tips you want to share please do comment below.