I’m going to talk you through other online marketing activities that are really easy to do. Some are a little harder to do than others but, if you pick one of these things and implement it, I’m sure that you will see results from it.
Get listed on Google
One of the best things that you can do to make sure you, your business and your website is visible online is to make sure you have a Google listing.
So, what I mean by a Google listing is, if I type in your business name into Google, your website generally will always come up because you know your business name. But think about potential customers who just write in certain words. They are not going to write in the name of the business, unless they are specifically looking for you, they are going to type something into that search that relates to your business.
So, I make sure that all over my website it says ‘Cumbria Marketing, marketing, marketing consultant, social media marketing, digital marketing, online marketing’. It says it everywhere.
For example, if you type in ‘Marketing Cumbria’ I am always consistently on the first page of Google search results and generally at the top of that first page as well.
If you type in your business name, quite often you will see on the right-hand side, there’s a box that has business details in for whatever business you are searching for. You need to make sure you get listed there.
The way to do this is to create a Google account. It will give you a free Gmail email account; you might use it, you might not; it can come in handy sometimes for things, but don’t worry about that. Just make sure that you drop a pin to where your address is on a map; where your business premises are on a map, adding photos and business logo and get people to leave you reviews. You can also put yourself into a business category as well, and that really helps your presence on Google.
So, that is an easy, ten-minute job to get a presence on Google. Organise your business listing.
Get people to leave you reviews. Google sees the reviews and picks them up. This helps your online presence. If anybody wanted to leave me a review on Google, I’d be most appreciative. I’ll let you finish reading this first!
Asking people to leave reviews really helps. The more reviews you have online and the higher the star rating, obviously, the more Google will see your website and your business as more popular. This will help bump you up those Google searches.
Facebook is another good place to get reviews online. We love a review. They are amazing – and extremely useful for business. If you are writing any proposals or tenders or launching something or want to put some PR out, use the testimonials and reviews you receive. Really try and get those reviews.
If you also have a restaurant or a visitor attraction, you can get reviews on Trip Advisor, that’s another good place. Also, we’ve now got Instagram Guides, that’s another good place to get reviews, so think about that too. Many options open to you.
Optimise your website
Top tip Number Two. Optimise your website – you might know it as SEO – or you might be thinking ‘what are you talking about?’. Maybe you have heard the phrase and don’t really know what it means. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. I’m going to try and explain it as easily as I can because it can get a bit techy.
People will get a website built for their business. Once the website is built, they expect loads of traffic to come to it. Now, nobody is going to find that website if it’s not built so that search engines can see it. So, if you’re getting a website built, make sure you ask your website designer to ensure that it has been listed with Google, and also that it’s optimised.
All over your website and on every single page has what is called ‘metadata’ – descriptions, titles and keywords on that page. Now, if your website doesn’t have this information, then Google’s not going to find it. It’s going to be really difficult for any search engine to pick it up.
Here’s an example. One of my clients is a physiotherapist and was frustrated that her website didn’t show up on Google. After a quick look at her website, I could see that it had no metadata on it whatsoever. She’s based in Penrith, so if somebody is wanting a physiotherapist, they are going to type into Google ‘Physiotherapist in Penrith’ or ‘Penrith Physio’ or ‘Physiotherapy Penrith’. They are the key things. When I typed in those search terms, all her competitors were coming up and she didn’t feature.
So, what I did, and it can be quite time consuming, but I went through every page of her website, and I made sure that these specific keywords were in the content on her website and were also in the metadata.
The way that you find this information is in what’s called the ‘backend’ of your content management system of your website. Ask your web designer or your techy people if you need help to find that log-in, to see if you’ve got it.
If you use a WordPress website, there is something called ‘Yoast’. It’s a plugin that you can have on your website, and it makes it so easy to type in the keywords, put a little description for that page, and it will tell you if it’s optimised, if it’s good or if there is something not quite right. It will tell you what you need to improve.
So, I went into every page and put this keyword information, ‘physiotherapist Penrith’ and the business name on the website. Within a week, my client appeared on the first page of Google because that was all over her website and Google could find it easily.
Also, when uploading any new images to your website, be sure to name them and use your keywords, don’t use DSC001.jpg for example. Google will see all this information on your website – the keywords in the text and the names of the images.
That is basically SEO. Have a little look at your website, see where you are appearing on Google, get your Google business listing and then have a look at the SEO, and have a look at your keywords on your website. Think about what words and phrases your customers might type into a search engine if they were looking for a business like yours. If you’re appearing, then do some tweaking to try and get yourself on the first page of Google. You need your business to be on the first page, right at the top. If you’ve got your business listing and your website is optimised, and you’ve got some reviews on there, brilliant. This is a great way to improve your online marketing and to ensure potential customers can find you online.
The next thing I want to talk about, which is also a really good way of making your business and your website visible online, is a blog.
Now, I bet you haven’t sat, read and digested all of my blogs. I don’t expect anybody to sit and read all the blogs and articles on my website. They are there for content. The blogs on my website all consistently talk about marketing. It’s not ‘A day in the life of Lisa’ – it’s not that kind of stuff. My content is always about marketing. I repurpose information, including my Facebook Lives that I present. I turn them into a blog and put them on my website because it contains all that information, all that vital content and keywords that I want to be found on my website, and which I want to be found in searches. Search engines are going to find them through the blogs on my website.
If you have a website that just sits there, that you don’t update, Google is going to think that it’s an old website that nobody looks after, that nobody cares for and nobody visits and that nobody is interested in. However, keep your website updated – and I’m not talking about like every day or every week – once a month is fine.
Completing the SEO work on my website, and updating the blogs consistently, has ensured that I stay at number one in Google searches for people who want help with marketing, particularly in Cumbria.
When you think about writing a blog, think of a key topic to write about each month, relevant to your business. Think about the things that people are going to be searching for again, that people are interested in, that’s going to show you as an expert in the field that you work in.
Another example for you. One of my clients is the ‘BEEP Doctors’ who are a local Cumbrian charity of volunteer doctors that save lives. Nobody knows about them, but they are amazing. You are going to hear more about them because I’m working on their online marketing this year.
We write blogs about first aid, health and safety, new doctors, driving conditions and how you can stay safe on the roads, because the majority of incidents they are called out to are road traffic accidents. These topics are the things people are going to search for.
Blogs are a really good way to make sure your website is visible online. It doesn’t have to take ages. If you can write and post twelve blogs in a year, then brilliant. Spend half an hour to an hour writing each of those blogs. They don’t have to be really long. 300 to 500 words is enough. The key is to keep making sure that your website is being visible and updated.
An important point about all of the things above is that they are free. You don’t have to pay anything for any of these. All it takes is your time.
In addition, another important thing you can do, if you are writing blogs or within your website, is add links to other people’s websites, or asking other people to link to your website.
When you type in your keywords into a search engine, you’ll find lots of directories pop up. Yell’s always one, there’s one called Cylex and many others. If you have Google Analytics, look to see what pages are sending traffic to your website. They are often little directories so make sure that you are listed on them. Put your website on as many different directories, networking directories as you can find. Cumbria Growth Hub have one. I’m sure there are others around the country. I’m part of the Pink Link networking group for ladies and so I’m on their directory. Put your website out there, as many places as you can. It’s another free way of getting your business visible online.
In addition, e-newsletters are another free way to get seen by people. Is there a way that you could write a monthly e-newsletter, just to update your clients or your followers about what is happening in your business?
Finally, of course, we have social media. I’ve recently found that joining other Facebook Groups is very beneficial. Some are local, some are in my field of business. People in the groups ask questions, share advice, knowledge and answer each other’s questions. Showing people what you are doing, who you are about and linking them back to your page or your website or things that you do, or product pages, is a positive for your business, so look into suitable groups. Feel free to join my ‘Marketing Made Easy With Lisa’ Facebook Group and invite others who would benefit from sharing hints and tips.
Now, I want to get something straight here. Don’t feel like you have to do all of these things mentioned here because life is a bit crazy at the moment. However, if you pick out one thing from here and implement that, I’m sure you will see results. It might not be overnight, but if you thought ‘That’s the one thing I’m going to do’ in addition to my social media, to try and improve my visibility online, these are the things I implement for my clients that work; they do work, it just needs a little bit of time.
If you are furloughed at the moment, if your business isn’t open and you can’t do what you’d normally do, make sure you are in control with this kind of stuff, even if you just take half an hour a day to implement some of these online marketing tips. I’m sure it will bring your rewards.
For more marketing tips and advice, join my workshops which cover a variety of topics to help you and your business. Find out more here.