When trying to grow your small business online it is important to take a step back and:
- analyse your business’s current position online
- define your goals for growth online
Here we’d like offer a tutorial on how to grow your small business online using one of our clients as an example.
Simply Sanding came to us with a working website that was a few years old. The site had a lot of content written by the proprietor, a small business owner, but he couldn’t be sure if the time and effort he put in to maintaining the site was really paying off in terms of attracting customers. It’s a common problem for many small business owners; you might have a web presence, maybe maintained in your spare time or by an external developer, but calculating the return on that investment, and therefore judging how much time or money to devote to it, becomes a complex trade-off. After analysing the site from a few different angles and considering the results, we concluded the following.
Content Original content, and in particular textual content, is a key factor to grow your small business online, and Simply Sanding had a good level of textual content. Content is what drives the Internet; people search for content, and search engines put sites that have a lot of it at the top of their results. In some ways, small business content strategy really is that simple; good content gets to the top of the list.
Not enough roads Think of a website like a city; if there are lots of transportation routes between different locations, and lots of routes to other cities, the city will thrive. For a website, the transportation is via links. Links between the content within your site and links from other sites to your site. Also different types of transportation; for a city, road, rail, air and sea. To grow your small business online, you need to build as many roads to your website as you can; a blog, a Facebook Page, regular posts on Twitter, videos on YouTube, connections on LinkedIn, conversations on forums – wherever your customers hang out, you should be there too!
Lack of analysis If you don’t know whether something is working, you don’t know whether you should be doing more or less of it. Simply Sanding didn’t have a good process for reacting to visitor behaviour, for example determining what content was most popular and producing more of it, or discovering what content was most successful for converting visitors into genuine leads.
Grow Your Small Business Online
Businesses of all kinds have the opportunity right now to take advantage of a seismic shift as technology becomes more pervasive and important in all aspects of our lives. The explosion in smartphone adoption over the last 18 to 24 months is just one visible example of this. Small businesses who see these opportunities and react fast to changes like these are positioning themselves to succeed in the coming decade.
The threat for a small business like this is that they will get left behind as their competitors embrace technology. In today’s world, the successful companies are software companies and they are eating the world. Companies that continually innovate, refine their processes, and capitalise on new technology as it becomes available are destroying their competitors by winning more business, responding better to their customers and reacting more quickly to trends in the marketplace. This is just as true for small local businesses as it is for technology behemoths like Google or Facebook. To grow your small business online, you need build a strong web presence in order to reach out to your customers online.
Need help figuring out how to grow your small business online? Let us put our experience to work for you. Get in touch and let’s work together.