In a world where brands and creators compete for audiences’ attention, standing out from the competition becomes a marathon. It is a question of who can outlast everyone else. Our experience working with clients across many industries has helped us identify five simple ways to help clients leverage the “basics” and find success at a relatively low cost. I challenge you to apply these tips to your small business and discover how much success you can achieve.
1. Create a website
The internet has become the central hub of information and authority for small businesses, thought leaders, and digital creators as technology continually evolve and competition for attention increases.
By serving as the official online hub for what you sell, a website helps create brand awareness and increase authority. Today, you can create a website easily with more than a handful of services, even if you have little to no experience. WordPress and Shopify are among my favorites in terms of ease of use, template libraries, and ease of building websites. Using these platforms simplifies the process of making small business websites, insightful blogs, and robust eCommerce storefronts. These platforms can meet your website needs and scale as you grow.
As the central hub of your offering, your website should contain a wide range of information. Small businesses should have a physical address, inventory (if applicable), and contact information. If you are a digital creator or thought leader, include your contact information, social media handles, general analytics, and brands you have previously worked with.
A website is essential if you sell a product or service.
2. Make your offer and business easy to find
Once you have created a website for your business, what is the next step? Ensure that your offering is easily visible online. Consider how your business appears on the internet and ask yourself whether it is difficult for customers to determine which search result is yours. Ensure that your business contact information and hours of operation are accurate. Do you use the same social media handles across all social media platforms? Make sure that you do not use long, overly complex social handles that include numbers, underscores, or other special characters that could confuse your audience about whether this is your profile or not.
Ensure your profile photo and color theme are consistent across all your social media accounts. You should use your company’s logo or something that represents your business.
Make your business easy to find.
3. Be an authority in your niche
You can now start receiving traffic to your website. You have spent some time reviewing and fine-tuning your brand presentation. It is now time to become an authority within your niche.
The first step you should take is to write blog posts on your website. If you write your blog well enough, any DIY platforms I mentioned above can generate free traffic to your website. When you have written a few blog posts on your small business website, consider contributing to other blogs and publications that align with your offering. You can offer your expert opinion by guest-posting on other publications and gaining a larger audience. With time and continued reciprocation of knowledge, you or your business will become an authority in your niche.
4. Create branded digital assets
Using branded digital assets, imagine the times you engaged with your favorite brands, creators or artists online. Are there any branded GIFs you can utilize? How about branded story filters? Your audience will be able to interact with your familiar, fun, and engaging offering. With branded digital assets such as GIFs and story filters, you can stand out from your competition and allow fans to interact and promote your offering with their audiences who might not know about you.
5. Optimize your pages for keywords
A recent survey found keyword optimization to be one of the most challenging aspects of search engine marketing. The difficulty of optimizing keywords means most site owners, marketers, and bloggers do not devote enough time to it. Ironically, keyword optimization is an integral part of SEO and PPC. Your website won’t be found if you don’t target the keywords your customers are searching for. This means no traffic, no sales, and no money.
When you look at the big picture, you need to practice search engine keyword optimization so that:
- To drive qualified traffic to your website, you need to optimize for the keywords people are searching for.
- A keyword popularity analysis helps you gauge the size of a potential online market.
- You can instantly connect with potential customers and address their needs by incorporating optimized keywords into your website.
- Analyzing your customers’ keywords can help you better understand their needs and serve them better.
Your audience will appreciate these creative ways of interacting with your offering. With the help of these five easy-to-follow practices, your small business will continue to evolve and stand out.