Top tips for online marketing on a shoestring: Tip 1

Online marketing is an invaluable tool for businesses looking to increase awareness of their product and engage with potential customers. With an understanding of the resources available and a little bit of creativity, an online marketing strategy can be one of the most cost-effective ways of maximizing your business’s potential. During the Business Startup show at London’s ExCeL centre in May, Simply Business partnered with PR agency 3 Monkeys and SEO agency Distilled to discuss some of the top marketing tips for people staring out in business. We have taken some of the top tips from the day and added some of our own and will be publishing them as a blog series over the next week. You can read the first post below.

1. Get a website

Since your website could be one of your first points of contact with the customer, it is important to develop a site that is striking and memorable, as well as authoritative and credible.

To get started, you should acquire your own unique domain name. There are many sites that can help you with this process. Getting British Business Online is a good option, as it provides you with a free domain for one year, along with the tips and tools necessary to create an effective website. Square Space, Wordpress, Vistaprint, and Google Sites are also great and low-cost options for building and maintaining a website.

Think about what information you want on your site and the message you wish to convey to your visitors. As you create your website, consider: What makes your business unique? What do you offer that your competitors do not? Some elements that work well on a business site include an “About Us” section, a description of products and services, a customer contact form, information about your trade organisation affiliations and achievements, and a map to show your location.

Once you have posted content, you can think more about the appearance of your page. Test different landing page designs and track which format yields more traffic. Ask for friends’ opinions. An appealing, well-organised page improves user experience while driving more visitors to your site.

Remember that creating an effective website is a process. It doesn’t have to be perfect at first, as you can improve the site over time. The important thing is not to be complex, but rather informative and clear.

Helpful links from this section: Getting British Business Online, Square Space, Word Press, Vistaprint, and Google Sites.

Read Tip 2: Learn the ins and outs of Google

Read Tip 3: Understand and measure who is using your site

Read Tip 4: Engage through social media

Read Tip 5: Blog to bolster your authority

Read Tip 6: Harnerss the power of your customers

Read Tip 7: Remember that paid search doesn’t need to break the bank

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