The days of successfully running a business without an online presence are all but over. In order to stay competitive in today’s technological environment more business owners than ever are looking for ways to boost their awareness online. All the moving parts associated with building your brand online can be daunting, but having the right tools to succeed will make it all worthwhile. So, what can you do to make your business stand out from the rest?
- Have a well-designed website.
A high-quality, mobile-friendly website is well worth the money you’ll put into it. Oftentimes it will be the first part of your business potential customers come into contact with. You want that first impression to be a good one. A website allows you to share your message from a first-person point of view and gives you a chance to show what sets you apart from competitors. Did you know that over 80% of consumers perform research online before making a purchase? If your website isn’t up to snuff or is nonexistent you certainly won’t be at the top of anyone’s Google searches.
- Be engaged.
As important as it is to have a website and a social media presence it isn’t going to do you much good if you aren’t active on those platforms. Many small businesses make the mistake of approaching their websites with the mindset of “set it and forget it.” This won’t cut it. Make sure your website stays up-to-date in both design and content. If your hours are wrong, your links don’t work or your website looks like it was created at the dawn of the internet you’re going to lose your credibility before would-be customers even walk in the door. The same rule goes for your social media accounts. If you aren’t posting new content users won’t be interacting with you. In turn, you probably won’t see much, if any, growth in your following. Social media users want to be engaged with consistently. Make a plan of what you’ll post each month to keep yourself consistently showing up in the feeds of your followers.
- Don’t shy away from paid ads.
It’s a common misconception that there’s no need to allot budget for social media because having an account is free. While organic content (your posts not backed by any money) is great, it is much slower-moving than boosted content or paid advertising. Have you noticed your content is being viewed far less than you’d think for the number of followers you have? Social media algorithms are always changing to bring more relevant content to users. This makes it harder for businesses to reach consumers with organic posts. This decrease in reach is driving more and more businesses to explore paid options. Similarly, search engines do the same thing. With Google Ads you can help get your website to the top of the list within certain keyword searches. With this approach, you pay a certain amount for each ad click. Pay-per-click marketing is a relatively low-cost way to generate leads.
- Watch the competition…and then do it better.
Not sure where to start? Oftentimes the best place to see what’s working and what isn’t is from your competitors. Who are they targeting? How are they reaching that audience? What kind of content are they looking into? While you can get inspiration from your competitors is great, don’t let what they’re doing keep you in the same box. Don’t just copy those you see succeeding. See what’s working and put your own spin on it. Take it to the next level. And don’t shy away from things no one has done yet. As long as the risks you’re taking are calculated risks, pushing the envelope will keep you ahead of the game. Don’t be surprised if you start to see your competitors following suit.
- Why not earn rewards along the way?
Now that you’ve established a few ways to buff up your web presence, you’re ready to put those ideas into action. As a business owner you’re all about putting your hard-earned dollars to work. Why not make them work a little harder? Idaho Central offers two Rewards Visas tailored specifically for your business needs. It makes it easy to separate business and personal expenses, avoid annual fees, and earn extra perks at the same time.