Small Business Owners – How to Make the Most of Your Online Budget

The UK has made the transition to a service based economy and many small service based businesses have made moves to increase their web presence.  With small budgets, few employees and limited experience this can be a daunting task, especially if critical resources are being taken up with trying to market a company online and get taken away from the core operations of the business.

Here are the aspects that you should prioritize to ensure that you make the most of your online presence:

Website

Quite obviously this is a basic requirement for any online marketing efforts.  However, for many small businesses there simply isn’t the budget or time to create and maintain an all singing, all dancing website.  However, it is critical that a website that any business of any size has is effective.  To be effective it has to facilitate the achievement of company goals, so if the goal of any online campaign is to increase the amount of enquiries that your business receives, make it easy for a potential customer to do that through your website.

This might sound obvious but many people make the mistake of filling their website with unnecessary content that clutters it and is probably not read by visitors anyway. Don’t make people have to think when they reach your website; it should be intuitive for people to perform the action that you want them to on your site.

Search Engines

So, once you have an effective website, you need to get traffic to it.  One of the most obvious sounding ways of doing that is to try and get your website to feature high up in as many search engine results as possible.  However, when considering this it really is a case of picking your battles.

You cannot be all things to all men, so you may be best advised to think about what you can realistically achieve, don’t waste time or money trying to get good search engine listings for search terms that will bring in irrelevant traffic i.e. visitors that are unlikely to be genuinely interested in the service you are providing.

It is also important to consider the level of competition when selecting the search terms to target, don’t be fooled in to thinking that you can take on the big boys, they have bigger budgets and it will show. A good SEO company will be able to provide these services for you so you can concentrate on your core business interests.

Another thing that an SEO company may be able to help you with is your Google Places listing.  This is a good way to generate more relevant interest in the services you provide, not only do Google Places results feature on the first page of related search results, but your listing will only be displayed to people searching in your local area i.e. your prospective clients.

Word of Mouse

What happens when you have had a good experience with a company or service?  You’ll probably tell someone and it’s no different online.  Reputation can count for a lot when it comes to small service based businesses, therefore it may be beneficial if you get your satisfied customers to effectively do your online advertising for you.

Encourage them to rate and review your business in the relevant places. Not only will this help with building credibility and awareness of your services it can also particularly useful for your Google Places listing too.

 

George Samuels is a carpenter.  He quickly learned that it was best to enlist the help of a professional SEO company to provide local SEO services to help him grow his business online.

 

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