If you don’t have a blog attached to your website, now is the time to set one up.
Log on to WordPress and create a blog for free. Then, link the blog to your website or incorporate it by adding an extra page to your toolbar.
Why? The WordPress platform offers unique SEO advantages – right out of the box, automatically. No need for a pricey SEO expert. Save money!
Now that your blog is set up, what will you write about?
Write Q&As on influencers in your industry. If you’re launching an accounting firm, reach out to accounting professors in your area and ask to interview them. Ask them about the latest accounting trend or related news, and transcribe the interviews into blog posts. Ask the professors to link their own Facebook pages or websites to your post to give you more exposure.
Try to blog at least three times a week, writing 500 to 750 words per post. You don’t have to interview influencers in each post. Write about current events through the lens of your business expertise. You might even attract journalists looking for a credible expert to comment on a news story.
You can also write up case studies. If you see someone in your industry doing something interesting, call and ask for an interview. Chances are they’ll be thrilled to get the publicity and the two of you can cross-promote.
Adding video to a website has never been easier. Just take a smartphone or Flip video camera (available for about $70) and start recording. Begin with a welcome video that explains what your business is about and introduces you as the owner. Put the video on YouTube or Vimeo and upload it to your homepage.
Consider posting a video blog every few weeks. Focus on a topic area you’re passionate about or ask a client to give an on-camera testimonial. Interview industry thought leaders and record how-to videos.
For The Video Challenged
Consider Animoto (free & pro) … a slick video slideshow creation service that allows photographers, businesses, and consumers to make professional quality videos from their photos and video clips.
Offer Free Resources In Exchange For Emails
Post valuable information and you may snag a client for life. Create a box on your homepage called “Free Resources.” Write a list of useful information and save it in PDF format.
For example, if you are a home designer, make a checklist for people to run through before choosing a color palette. If you’re an accountant, create a checklist of documents needed to prepare taxes accurately.
Post the downloadable PDF in your Free Resources box, and allow downloads only if viewers subscribe to your e-mail newsletter.
The exchange is important. It allows a business owner to build a direct line to potential customers. Just make sure to change out resources often. You don’t want your website to look like a brochure where there is no reason to go back.
Register With Business-Listing Sites
Discoverability is vital to the success of a small business website. Entrepreneurs should register business sites on Yelp and Yahoo Local. Try Bing Local and Google Places. This will help your search engine optimization (SEO) and also validate your existence to customers searching for your services.
Add Social Media Sharing Tools
Have you noticed how every article on The New York Times website gives you the option to Tweet it and share it on your Facebook page? This helps to spread the word about articles and brands.
Every time you type a search term into Google, the first few links that appear are related items shared by people in your network. Adding sharing tools on your site broadens your reach to potential customers.
Offer Daily Or Weekly Deals
As a consumer, nothing catches my eye more than a great deal. Try offering a daily or weekly deal that is exclusive for your online customers and publicize it on your homepage. Talk to your customers in person about these deals, too.
Do what you can to blur your offline and online business worlds. Consider doing merchandising that promotes your website, along with an incentive to go there.
Pay Attention To Keywords
The better your search-engine ranking, the better your potential to capture more page views and more customers. How do you cement yourself on Google’s first page?
Pay attention to the Google Keywords Tool. Run a few searches for words that describe your business. The tool will tell you what keywords perform well in search and the ones that don’t. Incorporate popular words into your site to increase your ranking.”
Watch Your Analytics
Check out your website stats and you might be surprised by what you find. Register for Google Analytics and you’ll be able to see which blog posts are doing best on your site, what keywords are bringing up your homepage and which pages are getting the most clicks. These stats will help guide you in creating more content that is meaningful to your audience.