First step for promoting your business is getting a website, no matter how basic. If the budget is low there are free solutions available that you can use to get started. You can always upgrade to a professional site later on.
Along with the website it is important to use a professional domain name that would probably be used for the entire lifespan of the business. The domain name shouldn’t be too long, it could contain keywords related to the business and it should have an original name so it can be easily recognized in search engines.
Some business owners have success just by starting with a Facebook Fan page, which later, should be linked to and from your website.
Next step would be to figure out what content you’ll need and how to organize it in pages, so the potential customers can easily find it.
For smaller business, with a basic brochure site, some typical pages could include: Home page, About Us, Services, Photo Gallery, Contact page and perhaps a Blog which we will discuss later on.
An Ecommerce website is more complex and among the pages mentioned above, a shopping site needs extra pages such: Categories, Product Details, Cart, Checkout, Customer Profile etc.
While the products and services are important, the package sells them, which in our case is the design part. A great looking modern web design will represent you in a professional light and could land you more customers, while a bad design can hurt your business.
While you can start with a cheap website as I explain in the beginning of the article, in long run it is more profitable to invest in a good looking website.
Branding is equally important, and while a logo designed by your nephew may be good enough for your personal website, it just won’t do it for a professional business website.
Your friends and family can always be a great resource for promoting your business. That’s a reason why you should always carry professional business cards, which will also contain a link to your website where your new connections can go and learn more.
A blog is a great and relatively inexpensive way to promote yourself. Using a blog, you can keep your customers updated with latest information and establish yourself as an expert in the field. Search engines also love freshly posted content that’s why you’re more likely to land on the first page in Google.
Social media may be a very effective way for connecting with potential customers or leads.
Since you know your business and customers the best, this is something that you can do all by yourself. If you don’t have time, energy or knowledge, seeking for professional advice is the right decision because you need to be there!
Search Engine Optimization or simply called SEO it’s what helps you get more traffic on the website. While professional advice and SEO service is costly, first you should make sure the website has a nice design and everything else mentioned above is checked. There is no reason to have many visitors, if your site is not able to convert them to customers.
There is more information on this subject than I could ever hope to fit in one article, but some tips to consider are:
Investing in a great looking professional site and branding, marketing it efficiently using word of mouth, blogging, social media and SEO, can grow your business and lead you to profits.