88% of all internet searches are made on Google. Whether it’s Organic Search or Adwords, most of your traffic will be coming from Google. Here are a few tips on small business marketing from Google themselves. Pay attention.
Own your online presence.
Although it’s possible to build an online business entirely on third-party platforms such as eBay or Etsy, you should always create your own website to ensure you have an online presence that you manage and maintain.
“The advantage of having your own website is that it gives you complete control over your brand,” Google say.
“It allows you to enhance your own brand and get further out there online. If you have your own website, you can use it to do multiple things for your customers; not just selling or telling them ‘this is where we are’.
“You can use it to get their details to create a mailing list and email them new offers, or advertise your social media presence.
“If you’ve got your own website, you’re able to get your message out much more clearly than if you don’t have your own website.”
Want to begin building your email list in order to send out special offers? Read our email marketing guide.
Give your website visitors clear instructions.
When customers land on your website is it clear what they should be doing? According to Google, ensuring that a site has an obvious purpose that’s easy to understand is something that many business owners forget. And as a result they end up missing out on sales because people simply don’t understand what they should be doing next.
If you want to get a deeper understanding on instructions and CTA’s, try our article “Tell your customers where to go!”
Google Say: “When someone lands on your homepage, what do you want them to do? Do you want them to look at products? Do you want them to contact you?
“Have a look at your own website and when you look at the homepage think ‘is it immediately clear what I want to people to do?’ because if it’s not, you’re missing an opportunity there.”
Website speed is critical.
Site speed is something Google has focused on a lot recently, so it was no surprise they mention it.
“If you’re going to a website, you know how annoying it can be if it’s taken five minutes just to load the homepage. You’re potentially losing people.
“There are free site speed testers out there that will tell you how quickly your site loads. Make sure you use those free tools, because if you’ve got a slow website you’re in danger of losing potential customers coming to your website.”
Here’s an article we previously wrote about how important site speed is & how your hosting provider can impact it.
Your site must be mobile friendly.
This is another area where Google has placed a strong focus recently.
Google say, “How patient are you when someone’s site doesn’t load on mobile, or you have to pinch and zoom or you can see what link you’re clicking on? It’s really annoying isn’t it? Make sure your site is mobile friendly. If you’re not mobile friendly, that’s probably the one big thing you need to look at doing.”
Mobile compatibility can be the key to unlocking business in your city.
Use shorter, more relevant content.
It can be tempting to pack your site full of content in the belief that more is always better. But in fact too much content can be as off putting to potential customers as too little content.
The key is to make sure people can quickly see that you offer what they want. If you’re providing too much unnecessary information, then customers may give up and look for a simpler online experience with one of your rivals.
To illustrate this, Google use the example of contact forms.
They say “If you’re wanting someone to fill out a form and contact you, you don’t need to know their mother’s maiden name, you don’t need to know where they’ve been on holiday. Just get the absolute basic minimum information that you need. So you might just need to get their name and email address.”
Promote your site on other platforms.
Although having your own site is a must, that doesn’t mean you should ignore third-party platforms all together. Social networks are a great way to spread the word about your business. Just make sure that ultimately, all those potential customers end up visiting your site, rather than simply liking you on Facebook or following you on Twitter.
“Everyone’s already familiar with social media platforms, so it’s so much easier to actually drive traffic towards them. The only problem is you do have a little less control over your brand”.