« Small Business Resources « « Five Low-Cost Online Tools to Promote Your Small Business
The good news about promoting your business online is that it's generally less expensive than traditional advertising, such as print, TV and radio, and you don't need to be an Internet whiz. Here are some tips to get started:
- Create or update your website. If you don't already have a website, you can hire someone to create one for you or do it on your own. A number of sites offer tutorials on how to build a website. Make sure your site has the latest information about your products and services. Few things are more frustrating to users than outdated websites. Make it easy for users to contact you and do business by including links to email and social media sites, as well as online ordering or appointments, if applicable.
- Improve your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. SEO is the process of increasing the odds that potential customers will find you when they use search engines on the Web. Find out what words people are using when they search for your business by adding analytics tracking (such as Google Analytics), to your website to help inform you about the keywords users searched to arrive at your site. Create content that includes those terms, especially in title tags for each of the pages on your website.
- Add a blog. Search engines look for new content, so regular blogging can help improve your SEO. Blogging can also help you connect with existing and potential customers, establish your business' leadership in your industry and promote your brand. You can either add a blog to your website or build a new one with blog building and hosting services.
- Use social media. If you don't have a Facebook page, consider establishing one now. You can use it to communicate with customers, alert them to special offers and promote your brand. Be aware that a social media campaign can take up a lot of time, so choose outlets based on your goals, products and services, target market, and the resources you have available. For example, LinkedIn may be appropriate if yours is a professional or marketing business; you can join and contribute to relevant group discussions to enhance your company's profile. Twitter and Foursquare may be good choices for retail and restaurant establishments. Pinterest and Instagram are options for businesses with a visual element, such as design, jewelry, home décor and clothing.
- Claim and update local listings. Online listings are basically directories to help potential customers find you faster. When you claim a listing, you're verifying that you're authorized to maintain a listing on a particular site. When you update a listing, you revise or add new information to a listing you've already claimed. Basic listings are usually free, but there may be fees for additional services. Search for your business and see what information appears in popular listing and review sites. Most of those sites include instructions on how to claim and update your listings.
We Have Business Solutions
No matter how you decide to promote your business, Navy Federal offers a full range of business services, including Online and Mobile Banking with free Bill Pay.* A Business Services representative will be happy to explore ways to help make your business run more smoothly.