Online Marketing- Where do I start?

Small business owners often ask me, “What’s the most important thing I need to know about online advertising?” or “Where do I start?”

You might be just starting your business, or you might have been in business for years before the internet. There are so many companies and options out there that promise to help you “rank number one on Google.” But the truth is, there are some simple steps you can take to start your successful digital journey.

Years ago, when I consulted with local businesses, one of the first things I would assess was their signage. “I can drive people to your door, but if they can’t find it easily, they’ll move on,” I would say. This was before everyone had a GPS in their pocket, but clear readable signage on a brick and mortar storefront is still important.

The next thing I would address was the customer experience. “We can get people to you once, but it’s up to you to make them a regular,”  If people have a bad experience or are not impressed with your offerings, it is difficult to scale your business.

Twenty years later, these “pre-internet” lessons still hold true. If you want to succeed online, you need to make sure your website is easy to find, your customer experience is top-notch, and your marketing is effective. So where do you start? Here are some DIY things you can do today. If you need help with any of these, remember, MLW can help. 

  1. Create a Google Business Profile (GBP). This is a free tool that allows you to take charge of the way your business appears on Google Search and Maps. You can add information about your business, such as your hours of operation, contact information, and photos. You can also respond to customer reviews and messages. See more on GBP
  2. Use social media to connect with your customers and promote your business. Create accounts for your business on popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Share interesting content, such as blog posts, photos, and videos, that will engage your followers. You can also use social media to run contests and promotions.
  3. Create a website for your business. This will give you a place to showcase your products or services and provide information about your business. Your website should be easy to navigate and should include clear calls to action. You should also make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. Click here for WordPress info 
  4. Optimize your website for search engines. This will help people find your website when they are searching for products or services like yours. You can do this by including relevant keywords in your website content and by using meta tags. 
  5. Provide excellent customer service. This will keep your customers coming back and help you build a loyal following. Make sure that you respond to customer inquiries promptly and that you resolve any issues that they may have. You should also offer excellent customer service after the sale.