5 online marketing tips for the small business owner

Even the tiniest of businesses needs a website, even if it’s only a single page. Thanks to the all-pervasive smartphone, sourcing a phone number is no longer sufficient – this is the information age after all! Customers like to know a bit more about who you are, what you offer and what makes you better than your competitors.

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Make sure that your website is working for you, not against you, with our top 5 tips to guarantee you a useful and profitable online business.

Become an expert

Getting your name known within your industry or field is an excellent method of marketing yourself, and social networking has made this incredibly easy to achieve. The Guardian’s Small Business Network suggests integrating a blog into your site, taking care to update it regularly with high-value content. This draws customers in, while reinforcing the message that you are a high-value business with great depth of knowledge.

Get to know your customer

Try to avoid generic corporate business phrases in your content, particularly if you are a one-person band. Sounding as though your business is a faceless empire is not always a good thing and could even deter the customer base that you are attempting to attract. If there is just you, then make that clear. Not only will some customers prefer it, but it also explains why your phone is not necessarily answered within three rings which, for some potential customers, could be enough to drive them to your competitors

Make information accessible

People don’t like to search around for the information they are looking for, so make sure that visitors can access what they want quickly and easily. Trawling through excess pages of unwanted content will annoy customers, so spend time developing an intuitive interface, and test it rigorously. Once a potential customer has clicked off your site and onto your competitors it is unlikely they will return, so don’t give them cause to go elsewhere.

Get the design right

A recent article in Forbes considered design to be the most significant factor in attracting customers, so it pays to spend plenty of time on getting it absolutely perfect. You don’t need to spend a fortune to benefit from the services of a top web design agency in London or the provinces – search around and you’ll find places such as britishwebsites.co.uk which offer an initial trial period which allows you to see for yourself the benefits of a great website, but without tying you into a lengthy contract.

Update your site

Some visitors will lose faith if your site never changes, so take the time to update your content regularly. Having an active Twitter feed, or updating your Facebook business profile regularly can be a useful way of reminding customers old and new about your services, so don’t ignore the marketing potential they offer. Make sure your prices and products are always up to date, and make sure that your website keeps pace with current trends. It should go without saying that your website must be mobile-friendly in order to generate a healthy profit.

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