The arrival of spring—at least in the Northern Hemisphere (apologies to our friends south of the equator)—is a great time for small businesses to assess the current state of their online presence and take steps to improve it, according to Sarah Matista, marketing manager at Vistaprint Digital Services.
It’s also the perfect time to see how you're faring with those business-related resolutions you made at the start of the New Year. "It's been a few months; time to check back on those goals," said Matista. Are your online marketing strategies gaining traction? Are they having a measurable effect on the bottom line? If the answer is no, then it’s time to take action.
More importantly, spring fever’s infecting consumers. "That's when people begin to venture back into the world," said Matista.
Heralding warmer temps and longer daytime hours, spring isn't just a season for getting back to nature, but also for refreshing wardrobes, upgrading electronics, and restarting home projects that stalled during the cold and dark winter months. With the right online moves, savvy small business owners can get a nice bump in business this time of year.
Online Marketing Tips for Small Business
Declutter Your Website
At home, it’s time to deal with those overflowing closets. At work, chances are that your online footprint could also stand a round or two of decluttering.
"Eliminate the things that don’t serve you, including outdated content and products that don’t sell," said Matista. A good first step; verify that your website and social media profiles still list correct hours and contact information—a must if you hope to reach those coveted mobile users. For potential customers, few things are worse than being greeted by a "We're Closed" sign, endlessly navigating a phone tree, or emailing unmonitored inboxes.
It's also time to tidy up your virtual store shelves.
Sure, shelf-space in your ecommerce shop is virtually unlimited, but why risk overwhelming your customers? Eliminating slow- or non-selling offerings helps focus attention on your strong sellers and newer products.
Take a New Look at Your Old Logo
Is your logo getting a little stale? Does it get lost in the shuffle?
If it's been years since you first conjured up your business' logo using the back of a napkin or some clipart, it's a safe bet that your brand struggles to stand out in a sea of professionally-designed logos. A good logo can help cement a firm's visual identity, and it expresses a "level of professionalism" that consumers and potential clients expect, said Matista.
Don't have the design chops to create a new logo? Don't worry; affordable logo design services are just a Google search away.
Make Your Small Business Marketing Metrics Matter
If it's been ages since you've logged into your Google Analytics account or other website monitoring tools, then you don't really know if your online marketing strategies are paying off.
"Use website metrics to see where your traffic comes from" and determine what works and what needs help, advised Matista.
For example, if your direct traffic or "type-in traffic" figures are strong or trending up, that "tells you that your brand is doing well," she said. Like Amazon, eBay, and other major Web companies, customers may instinctively type in your company's URL to reach your site instead of searching for it first.
If your site's organic traffic (traffic from unpaid search results) is a little lacking, consider making your website more visible to search engines. Added content from a blog can not only helps small businesses showcase their expertise, but it can also help them rank higher in search results.
It might also be time to revisit your search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. What worked just a few short years ago is ancient history to Google.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Small Business Computing. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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