No business goes into a new year or new decade saying ‘I don’t think I want to improve this year’. It’s in our nature to continually want to improve. If you’re in business, you’re looking to grow and stay ahead of the competition.
Today’s post covers eight things you can do to reach your online sales and marketing goals. Each item is something anyone should be able to do without having to be a tech wizard, so let’s dig in.
#1 Optimize Google Business Account
Optimizing your Google business listing can dramatically increase your opportunity of getting found online. If you have not claimed your business listing, make sure you start by going to business.google.com and following the steps presented to you.
Whenever anyone searches for a product or service with the name of a city in the search, Google shows a local Map Pack. This is where Google business listings appears. They also appear when someone searches Google Maps.
To optimize your business listing, make sure to:
- Complete all info fields that you can including contact info, web address, hours, etc.
- Add quality photos and videos. This will include your logo, interior and exterior office/location photos, and any company promo videos you may have created
- Add your services. This is a somewhat newer feature of business listings, but a good one.
- Create a post. A post is like an Ad that appears on your business listing. You can post something like an event coming up, your latest blog post, or important company news
- Encourage customers to submit reviews on Google
I could write a whole blog post about optimizing your listing, but I won’t because MOZ has an extensive article here. Check it out to learn more.
#2 Clear Calls to Action on Your Website
Far too often I come across websites that miss opportunities by not having calls to action in the right places. When visitors land on your website, your job is to direct them to take action. If they reach the bottom of a page or section and aren’t guided to take the next step, like Learn More or Book Appointment, they probably won’t.
Make a point to review each page of your website and look for the places where you’re missing these opportunities and ask visitors to take action. When you find a spot, add a button (or link, but preferably a button) that directs the user towards the next step you’d like them to take.
For example, on your homepage you might have three blocks of text explaining the 3 different services you offer. If at the bottom of that text block there isn’t a link/button for the user to click to book/contact/learn more about that service, add one.
#3 Use Lead Magnets
Many websites I visit today have a section where I can sign up for their newsletter. 99.9% of the time I don’t. Why? It isn’t because I don’t want to share my email address with anyone; it’s because they’re not giving me a compelling enough reason to give them my email.
“Sign up to receive the latest news from X” isn’t going to help you grow your email list.
What does work though is to create a lead magnet that has value and offer to give it away in exchange for an email address. What I mean by lead magnet is either a valuable ebook, resource, or product that others may want. A good example is the lead magnet we’re giving away on our website. If you sign up you’ll get our ‘Website Strategy Cheat Sheet’ and a 7 day mini course that will help you improve your website traffic and conversions.
The key for a lead magnet to work well is that it has to be something valuable. Figure out what your audience wants, and give it to them.
Here’s a post from Pat Flynn outlining 17 Lead Magnet Ideas.
#4 Create Video
As you can see on our website, we utilize videos throughout. It’s not just because we want to, or think it is cool, it’s because it works.
Videos are more engaging than photos and help keep visitors on your site longer. It’s much easier to tell a story, or explain a product using video than it is through photos and text.
You don’t have to go out and hire a professional videographer to get started either. In this article, Tour of my Budget Video Studio | You Can Make Video Too, Zack share’s our simple video setup that we use for filming most of our videos.
Anytime anyone wants to learn a new skill, they begin their search on Youtube. If you have anything educational to share, to get the most exposure possible, make sure to create a video about it, post it to Youtube and embed it on your website.
#5 Transparency – About Page Improved
Business is getting personal. No one wants to work with a faceless company. If you’re like me, when you land on a generic about page that just has some fluff about being an experienced team, etc., but no info about who owns the company or who’s on the team, you leave.
People want to know they’re dealing with real, local people. Putting a personal touch on your about page goes a long way in building trust with potential customers. Add pictures of the key people on your team, add images of your whole team if you have, and even pictures of your location.
I understand that some people hate having their pictures on the internet, but at the very least, name the key people and have small bios on them.
#6 Square Logo
On your website you have something called a favicon. Google now displays this image next to your website within its search listings on both Desktop and Mobile searches. Having this appear helps your listing stand out. Your favicon is also the icon that gets saved on your mobile phone when someone visits your website. This appears in a person’s recently visited websites list like this:
If you have a WordPress website it’s really easy to set your favicon.
- Log into WordPress
- Go to Appearances->Customize
- Go to the Identity tab
- Upload your favicon. **Note: This must be a square image or else it will be cropped.
- Publish update
To learn more about why and how to create a square logo, read our article You Need a Square Logo, and Here’s Why.
#7 Chat Bots
This is one you may have seen on a 2019 list, but I believe we’ll continue to see more chat bots on websites. If you have the time or manpower, this is something you should add to your site.
No matter how much content you’ve created and posted on your site, your customers will still have questions. Having a chat box where people can easily ask a question and get an immediate answer will make your site more engaging.
It’s free and easy to add a chat bot to your site. Some of our favorite free options are:
#8 Utilize LinkedIn
Over the past couple of years, LinkedIn has made some great improvements to make it the ‘go to’ place for businesses to engage with other businesses.
Just like Facebook, when getting started with LinkedIn, you need a personal account and a business page. But unlike Facebook, it’s main purpose is business. If you want to find out what’s happening in the business community, go check out your feed on LinkedIn.
A couple tips that will help you get the most out of LinkedIn include:
- Connect with everyone you meet. If you meet someone at a networking event or business meeting, look them up and connect on LinkedIn as soon as possible.
- When you create a post on your business page, share it with your personal account. You’ll almost always have more personal connections than business followers to start out.
- Create LinkedIn articles. You can either create new, unique content, or re-purpose existing blog posts you might have. Providing education and value through LinkedIn articles can get you a ton of exposure.
- Interact with your sales prospect’s posts. By liking or commenting on their posts, you’re reminding them of you, and hopefully they’ll reach out when they’re ready to buy.
- When someone connects with you, send them a message thanking them for connecting and ask a question about their business. Building relationships are key to future opportunities.
If you have a Facebook business page, you’ll know that over the past couple years the reach of each of your posts get has continuously gone down. If you want exposure on Facebook you now have to pay to play. From my experience, LinkedIn has offered a lot more exposure for our business and makes it easier to get in front of the people we want to.
In anything you do, be sure to be consistent and persistent.
Being consistent means keeping your message and branding the same across all your marketing mediums, and presenting your ideas with the same voice. Whether you’re posting on LinkedIn, creating videos, or writing blog posts, ensure your message and branding are consistent.
Being persistent means never giving up. Test, learn, improve, repeat. Not everything you do will be a big win, but if you can be persistent and continually improving, things will continue to get better over time.
Make 2020 your best year ever!