When you’re running a small business, it’s important to look for any advantage that may encourage potential clients and customers to choose you over the competition. This is not always an easy task, especially once you realize there are hundreds and thousands of competitors vying for the same space you’d like to occupy online. Although managing a small business in a competitive market is not simple, there are a few tactics you can use that will make a significant difference, and possibly even propel you above the competition. If you want to be successful with your small business, whether you’re a restaurant or an e-commerce site, follow these suggestions.
Website with Quality Content
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many small businesses pay no mind to their presence online. Not only does your company website serve as an online business card, but when optimized, it can help you appear higher in the search engine results. Each page of the website should include a title tag, a meta description, and an H1 tag, as well as descriptive content that tells the visitor what the page is about. If you’re familiar with seo, research some target keywords for each page and then incorporate those keywords into the content. It’s also a great idea to include pictures, videos, and ensure the website is not crammed with excessive clutter and advertisements. The site should look clean, simple, and professional. Less is more.
Provide Visitors with Free Tips and Information
Many small and large business owners feel the need to charge for everything, even if it’s a small bit of information someone can find for free elsewhere. Let me just tell you this is not the way to win customers and increase sales. If you really want your potential clients and customers to cozy up to you, consider providing free information via your blog, your social media sites, and through email message. You’ll be surprised by the positive response you receive. When you provide free insight, customers learn to trust your brand. Once the relationship is strong, they will be more likely to make a purchase or take action.
Earn Quality Back Links to Your Site
Link building has always been a central focus of seo best practice, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can end up in a train wreck. Google and other popular search engines don’t look highly on strategies that involve link farms, paid links, or excessive directory links, so you have to focus your efforts on earning links organically. If you have a pr specialist, you may consider having them try to obtain links from local newspapers and reputable media sites. You can also submit articles to websites with a high page rank (Google ranks sites according to authority and quality), or submit content to industry sites to garner more exposure. Whatever you do, don’t pay for links or take the easy road. Quality link building can take time. It’s supposed to.
Engage in Social Media
Small businesses need to be active in the social media scene, but that doesn’t mean you should sign up for every social site under the sun. Before you create your social media strategy, research what platforms your customers or clients are using and plan to be active only on those platforms. Though social media is effective, it is possible to spread yourself too thin. B2B marketers should look very closely at sites that allow them to network with other businesses, like LinkedIn, Twitter, Biznik, and Explore B2B.